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Bitcoin Account Accuses Twitter of Shadow Banning to Restrict Its Reach

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On March 23, the Twitter handle @Bitcoin became mired in controversy after BTC supporters complained about the account and attempted to get the profile shut down. The operator of the Bitcoin Twitter profile has also accused the social media platform of manipulating matters by placing restrictions on the account and limiting its overall traffic.

Also read: Bitcoin and the Agora: Every Transaction Outside the Nexus of State Control Is a Victory

The Relentless Attempt to Silence a Twitter Handle

The owner of the Twitter handle @Bitcoin believes the account is being restricted for being critical toward the Bitcoin Core (BTC) network and the Lightning Network (LN). Over the last few weeks, several BTC supporters have advocated having the account suspended or reassigned to a group of core developers.

Bitcoin Account Accuses Twitter of Shadow Banning to Restrict Its Reach

The dispute arose because the @Bitcoin account shows support for the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network. Hardcore maximalists and LN proponents believe that because the account calls itself ‘Bitcoin,’ it is fraudulently impersonating what they believe is the ‘real’ Bitcoin. On March 15, Twitter user @Moonoverlord opined that the account should be handed to the group of developers known as Bitcoin Core.

“So embarrassing the Bitcoin handle acts like this,” Moonoverlord tweeted. “Should be given back to the bitcoin core team instead of being used to start petty fights and mislead people.”

Bitcoin Account Accuses Twitter of Shadow Banning to Restrict Its Reach
The @Bitcoin Twitter handle showing how the account’s traffic has been drastically reduced. Its owner suspects Twitter employees of shadow banning.

The former moderator of the r/bitcoin subreddit, a Reddit forum known for rampant censorship, also agreed with the idea and explained the handle could be given to any developers behind BTC. “Doesn’t have to be the core devs — Could be the group of devs @sqcrypto funds with just positive and informative content,” explained the Twitter handle known as ‘Stop and Decrypt.’ Blockstream VP of Solutions, Warren Togami, replied to Stop and Decrypt’s commentary by stating that “It’s better for the name to be frozen forever — The account has been committing fraud for a long time — Surely this is a violation of ToS.”

Bitcoin Account Accuses Twitter of Shadow Banning to Restrict Its Reach

Twitter Suspensions and Shadow Bans

Following the controversy and people bickering about the handle this week, the @Bitcoin account detailed that it believed it was already being unfairly restricted. “Any journalists want to write about how Jack Dorsey (CEO of Twitter) is restricting accounts that are critical of one of his portfolio companies?” asked the Bitcoin handle on March 23. Twitter has also been accused of censorship and deplatforming for quite some time by many different critics.

Bitcoin Account Accuses Twitter of Shadow Banning to Restrict Its Reach

The Twitter founder is a publicly known Lightning Network investor and has helped fund the startup Lightning Labs. The Bitcoin account had previous problems with Twitter in April 2018, when the account was suspended for unknown reasons. After the account was suspended, the r/bitcoin community celebrated while others on social media thought the move by Twitter was immoral. For example, cryptocurrency news and research website Coinivore tweeted to Twitter and Jack Dorsey to say that the account “should be restored and allowed to express their opinion on scaling.” Eventually, the Bitcoin account was restored to the rightful owner, but ever since its social reach appears to have been neutered.

Bitcoin Account Accuses Twitter of Shadow Banning to Restrict Its Reach

The ‘One True Bitcoin’ Debate May Take Years to Settle

Right now the Bitcoin account doesn’t seem to be phased by the harassment and has continued to express opinions that are in opposition to scaling choices promoted by BTC and LN supporters. People who support the @Bitcoin handle expressing itself in any fashion have said that Bitcoin technology and the name are not a designated brand that solely belongs to BTC.

Bitcoin Account Accuses Twitter of Shadow Banning to Restrict Its Reach
Twitter has censored Alex Jones, Info Wars, and many alt-right conservatives.

In fact, the protocol has been forked roughly 47 times since the notorious split on August 1, 2017, and there are individuals who believe there are many forms of Bitcoin now. The people who believe there is no ‘one real’ Bitcoin are convinced the protocol they support is the “better Bitcoin.” Among the 47 odd forks, groups of people think that there are only three chains that have decent support and it will take years for the market to decide which coin will be considered ‘the one and only Bitcoin.’ Even the amount of proof-of-work (PoW) could change in a 10-year period or another Bitcoin fork could capture the most accumulated PoW as well as the biggest market capitalization. On Saturday, entrepreneur Vinny Lingham expressed his opinion on this manner, writing that BTC is a clear winner and incumbent. Lingham added that “it’s going to take a Herculean effort for BCH and BSV to overtake it.”

“That said, the over-reliance on the Lightning Network for scaling and extreme focus on decentralization with the risk of high fees at any moment is a major limiting factor,” Lingham continued.

Another example that describes the situation perfectly was when independent cryptocurrency researcher Hasu Fly explained the set of circumstances that led to Bitcoin forks in December 2018. Within his memorable essay “Unpacking Bitcoin’s Social Contract,” Hasu noted that usually Bitcoin’s social contract cannot fork and typically only one contract remains after a split. However, the cryptocurrency researcher explained that the BCH fork was a rare and different story.

“Forking the protocol doesn’t equal forking the social contract, so the new token is worthless by default,” Hasu’s essay notes. “In the rare case that the social contract itself splits (like when bitcoin cash split off from bitcoin), you end up with two weaker social contracts—each agreed to by fewer people than the old one.”

Bitcoin Account Accuses Twitter of Shadow Banning to Restrict Its Reach
Some people believe the ‘one true’ Bitcoin has not been decided upon.

The Sum of All Coins

To many people, the ultimate decision will be made by network participants and the free market in regard to what the ‘better Bitcoin’ is and it may not be decided for a very long time. Also, there are cryptocurrency supporters who hold BCH, BTC, and BSV as a ‘sum of all coins’ investment approach, in order to see which one reigns supreme in the future. People of this opinion believe that the Bitcoin twitter handle should not be restricted or frozen by the whims of the mob and a Lightning Network investor. However, in the crypto community, the oppression of mob rule and censorship has been extremely heavy in recent times. The Orwellian thought process expressed on Twitter shouldn’t be too surprising since forums like r/bitcoin, many crypto thought leaders, and various censorship apologists have promoted the obvious manipulation within the Bitcoin community since 2015.

What do you think about the individuals trying to get the Bitcoin Twitter account suspended? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Twitter, and Pixabay.


At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even look up the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

The post Bitcoin Account Accuses Twitter of Shadow Banning to Restrict Its Reach appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Indian Supreme Court Set to Hear Crypto Case on March 29

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The four-week window that the Indian supreme court has given the government to come up with crypto regulation is coming to an end. According to the court’s Advance List, the crypto case is listed for March 29. Meanwhile, the community is ramping up efforts to bring about positive crypto regulation and the end of the banking ban imposed by the central bank.

Also read: Indian Exchange Launches Lending Program for 5 Cryptocurrencies

Advance List Shows Hearing Date: March 29

The deadline given to the Indian government by the country’s supreme court to come up with a regulatory framework for cryptocurrency is drawing near. On Feb. 25, the court gave the government four weeks to produce crypto regulation. That period is up next week. Nishith Desai Associates lawyer Jaideep Reddy represents the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) in its writ petition against the crypto banking ban by the central bank. He told news.Bitcoin.com Saturday:

The supreme court publishes something called the ‘Advance List’ and according to that, the case is listed on March 29. The final list which will have the confirmed date should be out early next week.

While the court’s Advance List currently lists March 29 as the next hearing date for the crypto case, it is still subject to change. Furthermore, the court will first hear about the regulatory framework for cryptocurrency from the government and may not address the crypto banking ban by the central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), on the same day.

Indian Supreme Court Set to Hear Crypto Case on March 29

The regulatory framework for cryptocurrency in India is being drafted by an inter-governmental committee headed by Subhash Chandra Garg, Secretary of the Ministry of Finance’s Department of Economic Affairs. During the last supreme court hearing, the government told the court that this committee was in its “final stages of deliberations.”

There have been a few reports speculating on what the recommendations by the Garg committee entail. CNBC TV18 claims that their sources said the panel has suggested a ban on cryptocurrencies. However, another report states that the panel has suggested cryptocurrency “needs to be legalized with strong riders.”

Efforts to Lift RBI Ban

The RBI issued a circular which prohibits banks from providing services to crypto businesses including exchanges back in April last year. The ban went into effect in July. A few industry participants and stakeholders responded by filing writ petitions against the ban, which the community hopes the supreme court will soon hear. The case was originally going to be heard on Sept. 11 last year but it has been repeatedly postponed.

Reddy shared with news.Bitcoin.com that “As of now we are fully focused on representing our clients in the supreme court case, since the RBI circular is the restriction which really affects the industry,” emphasizing:

One would hope the case on the RBI circular is decided soon since the industry has been in limbo for nearly a year now.

Indian Supreme Court Set to Hear Crypto Case on March 29

As the supreme court hearing on crypto regulation approaches, there are several notable efforts within the crypto community in India.

News.Bitcoin.com recently reported on Blockchained India’s roadshow making rounds in four cities where industry participants can share their thoughts on whether India needs cryptocurrency regulation and what their suggestions are. The latest meeting took place in Hyderabad on March 16 and the next one will be in Bengaluru on March 30. The organizer of the events has said that the best suggestions for crypto regulation “will be included in the report to be submitted to the decision makers amongst the government.”

Meanwhile, the “India Wants Crypto” social media campaign has entered its 143rd day and is continually growing in popularity.

Do you think the Indian supreme court will hear the crypto case on March 29? Do you think the RBI ban will be lifted? Let us know in the comments section below.


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The Fed’s Low Interest Rates and QE Have Created a Dependent Generation

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On March 20, the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee (FOMC) unanimously decided to keep federal interest rates unchanged. Critics believe that the central bank’s policy of near-zero interest rates and quantitative easing (QE) has corrupted the U.S. economy for nearly a decade and spawned a generation of socialists.

Also read: Bitcoin and the Agora: Every Transaction Outside the Nexus of State Control Is a Victory

The U.S. Federal Open Market Committee Too Stubborn to Raise Interest Rates

This week, numerous news outlets described how the Federal Reserve’s FOMC opposed changing interest rates again. The group seems leery toward normalizing the Reserve’s monetary policy. The central bank hasn’t budged on increasing interest rates higher than 3 percent since the financial crisis in 2008. This week’s FOMC shows the Fed is not willing to increase rates anytime soon and the current monetary policy will be sustained for the foreseeable. A number of economists think that the Fed’s stubbornness will impact badly on the economy for a variety of reasons. For one, keeping interest rates low distorts people’s perception of a healthy economy when younger generations grow used to homes and car loans boasting near-zero rates.

The Fed's Low Interest Rates and QE Have Created a Dependent Generation

Economists believe that the Fed’s low interest rates make savings an unattractive goal and with extremely low rates the idea of savings doesn’t make sense. Low rates hurt smaller banks like credit unions because individuals choose to keep fewer funds in checking and savings accounts. The rates also cause inflation to rise which makes savings even less worthwhile and to a majority of people borrowing makes more sense.

The Fed's Low Interest Rates and QE Have Created a Dependent Generation

This, in turn, makes debt increase as near-zero rates encourage people to consume more than they can afford. With rates never rising above 3 percent, the last decade has seen growing debt and excess and quantitative easing has fueled the flames even more. In addition to low interest rates since the Federal Reserve and Chairman Ben Bernanke’s administration, the Fed has been a money printing machine.

A Decade of Near-Zero Rates and QE Is Creating a Generation of Socialists

Back in the summer of 2016, it was estimated that the Fed had printed over $12.3 trillion of new money and nearly $10 trillion in negative-yielding global bonds since the financial crisis in 2008. Even today the Fed hasn’t stopped the printing madness and interest rate cuts continue unchallenged. In 2018, the Fed’s balance sheet exceeded $4 trillion and economists believe more QE is on the way. Skeptics think this has caused Generation Z and millennials to embrace socialism and the ideologies behind it. Notorious Zero Hedge columnist Tyler Durden explained on March 11 that a recent Harris-Axios Poll shows the Fed’s QE has likely bolstered the idea of a state fostered by socialism. Durden’s report emphasizes:

With younger generations financially penalized under QE to prevent the economy from a deflationary collapse, the Fed may have inadvertently transformed tens of millions of young Americans into socialist.

The Fed's Low Interest Rates and QE Have Created a Dependent Generation

The poll shows that American millennials and Gen Z’s are dealing with the low-paying gig economy, renting rather than owning, increasing debt, and rampant cost of living expenses and inflation. Additionally, the poll points out that 50 percent of young Americans today would choose to live under a socialist regime. 37 percent polled desire a socialist-based economy over capitalism. Moreover, the Fed is doing a good job of educating society and even created a mobile app that teaches young children about the ‘benefits’ of promissory notes.

The Fed's Low Interest Rates and QE Have Created a Dependent Generation

The Fed’s Failure: An Unimpressive Economy and Rising Inequality

A senior editor at the Mises Institute, Ryan McMaken, gives a seething critique of the FOMC decision and the Fed’s continued failure. McMaken denounces the FOMC’s fear of raising rates and believes the central bank’s actions have “coincided with both an unimpressive economy and rising inequality.” “If that’s not evidence of the Fed’s failure, it’s hard to imagine what is,” McMaken’s evaluation notes. Since the crash of 2008, QE, and the bailouts, cryptocurrencies have been a method for some to escape the manipulation created by the state and the Fed’s monetary policy. In fact, over the last decade, as the Fed has pursued this activity, safe haven investments like precious metals and bitcoin have risen in value exponentially.

What do you think about the FOMC’s decision to leave interest rates unchanged? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Bloomberg, Pixabay, and Mises.org.


At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even look up the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

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Bitcoin and the Agora: Every Transaction Outside the Nexus of State Control Is a Victory

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The cryptoconomy means many things to many people. For example, since the inception of Bitcoin in 2009, some individuals have used digital currencies as a form of agorism otherwise known as counter-economics. These people believe that using bitcoin as a tool to avoid state harassment is one of the technology’s key features with the potential to reduce the manipulation and civil abuses perpetrated by government bureaucracy.

Also read: This Short Animation Might Make You Think Twice About Taxes

Bitcoin and Agorism

Since the creation of the Bitcoin network, many libertarians have flocked to this technology. Groups of ideologists who believe in free markets, anarcho-capitalism, and the protection of property rights have all called cryptocurrencies a tool that can be weaponized against central controllers of the world’s money. Agorists, in particular, appreciate cryptocurrencies as a means to avoid state harassment and civil abuses like taxation at all costs. Because digital currencies can be used in a private manner if the user desires then people who live counter-economically can stop funding wars, the police state, corruption, and the oligarchy.

Bitcoin and the Agora: Every Transaction Outside the Nexus of State Control Is a Victory

Agorism stems from the Greek root word “agora,” which means “open markets” and the philosophy of counter-economics was first conceived by a libertarian philosopher named Samuel E Konkin III (SEK3). Konkin asserted that agorism is the ultimate strategy for living free because it involves any types of voluntary exchange, but makes sure the state is removed from the situation.

“Everyone is a resister to the extent that he survives in a society where laws control everything and give contradictory orders — All (non-coercive) human action committed in defiance of the state constitutes the counter-economy,” explains Konkin’s Agorist Primer.

Agorists partake in black markets and operate under the noses of the state in the gray area as well, which could mean avoiding taxes, dismissing the idea of permits and licenses, operating a business under the table, and circumventing regulations. Of course, using money is a big part of the ideological process as well and agorists prefer to settle exchanges by barter and trade, cash deals, and cryptocurrencies. The reason digital currencies like bitcoin are attractive to agorists is because the money is not issued by a central authority like a bank, no corporation is behind it, and most importantly it operates completely free from the state.

Bitcoin and the Agora: Every Transaction Outside the Nexus of State Control Is a Victory

Satoshi’s Bitcoin Privacy Instructions

Satoshi spoke a few times on how bitcoin will not be the “ultimate solution to political problems,” but on Nov. 7, 2008, the digital currency’s creator insisted: “We can win a major battle in the arms race and gain a new territory of freedom for several years.” Moreover, on Feb. 6, 2010, Satoshi recommended using Tor in order to add an extra layer of privacy to crypto transactions. “You could use Tor if you don’t want anyone to know you’re even using Bitcoin,” explained Nakamoto. “Bitcoin is still very new and has not been independently analysed — If you’re serious about privacy, Tor is an advisable precaution.”

On Nov. 25, 2009, Satoshi stated:

The possibility to be anonymous or pseudonymous relies on you not revealing any identifying information about yourself in connection with the bitcoin addresses you use. If you post your bitcoin address on the web, then you’re associating that address and any transactions with it with the name you posted under. If you posted under a handle that you haven’t associated with your real identity, then you’re still pseudonymous — For greater privacy, it’s best to use bitcoin addresses only once.

‘Each Transaction Makes a Difference, Strengthens the Agora’

There are many ways cryptocurrencies can be used to remove the state from consensual trades between individuals and many digital asset proponents believe this. Agorists also believe that vices are not crimes and label the drug war a crime against peaceful civilians. The founder of the Silk Road, ‘Dread Pirate Roberts’ (DPR), also believed in the anti-authoritarian stance involved with Agorism.

“Every single transaction that takes place outside the nexus of state control is a victory for those individuals taking part in the transaction,” DPR stated back in 2012. “So there are thousands of victories here each week and each one makes a difference, strengthens the agora, and weakens the state.”

Bitcoin and the Agora: Every Transaction Outside the Nexus of State Control Is a Victory

Many believe that anti-state activity tied to Bitcoin like Wikileaks and the Silk Road helped fuel the digital currency’s real-world value during the early days. Moreover, with the dozens of darknet markets and sectors such as gambling, gray and black activities are still very prevalent within the cryptocurrency ecosystem. There are some digital currency supporters begging for cryptocurrencies to be regulated and ‘defined’ by the state. However, like it or not, on the opposite side of the spectrum, many agorists are intentionally doing things with cryptocurrencies that are considered ‘bad mannered’ and ‘uncouth.’

Bitcoin and the Agora: Every Transaction Outside the Nexus of State Control Is a Victory

Agorists and those who follow a sincere libertarian ideology believe that pro-state bitcoiners lack principles and the technology’s greatest expression of intentionality have always been anti-state. As the evolution of cryptocurrency grows more people who are anti-war, anti-state, and wholeheartedly believe in a society run by free markets will continue to be attracted to this technology.

Do you want to learn more about Agorism? Check out these links below.

What do you think about the relationship between cryptocurrencies and Agorism? Let us know your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.


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At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even look up the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

The post Bitcoin and the Agora: Every Transaction Outside the Nexus of State Control Is a Victory appeared first on Bitcoin News.

China Favors Tron and EOS in New Crypto Ranking But Downgrades Bitcoin

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China’s Center for Information and Industry Development has released its latest crypto project ranking. Tron and EOS top the list out of the 35 crypto projects evaluated while Bitcoin has been downgraded slightly. The center also evaluated the projects independently based on basic technology, applicability, and creativity.

Also read: SEC Chair Explains Key Upgrades Needed for Bitcoin ETF Approval

March Ranking

The Center for Information and Industry Development (CCID), under China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, released the 11th update of its crypto project ranking report on Friday. The number of crypto projects evaluated this month was 35, unchanged from the previous month.

“The results show that the world’s three major Dapp platforms — EOS, Tron, [and] Ethereum — still rank in the top three, [and] the scores are 155.7, 146.7 and 142.8, respectively,” the center wrote. Tron debuted last month, replacing Ethereum as the second highest ranked project. EOS has been in the top spot since it started being ranked in June last year. This month, BTC ranks 15th, down two places from the previous month. BCH also fell slightly from the 27th spot to the 31st spot.

China Favors Tron and EOS in New Crypto Ranking But Downgrades Bitcoin

3 Sub-Rankings

All 35 crypto projects were also evaluated based on three sub-categories: basic technology, applicability, and creativity.

The basic technology “sub-index accounts for 64% of the total index,” the center described, noting that this category “mainly examines the technical realization level of the public chain, including function, performance, security, and decentralization.” The top projects are EOS, Tron, Bitshares, Steem, and Gxchain. “Since the upgrade of Constantinople, the efficiency of the Ethereum network has improved, and the Ethereum basic technology index has also risen from the 9th [place] to the 6th,” the CCID pointed out. Nonetheless, it found that “the average of the basic technology index has slightly decreased from the previous period.”

China Favors Tron and EOS in New Crypto Ranking But Downgrades Bitcoin

The applicability “sub-index accounts for 20% of the total index,” the CCID continued, adding that this category mainly evaluates “the comprehensive level of public chain support for practical applications.” The top five projects are Ethereum, NEO, Nebulas, Tron, and Ontology. Unlike the basic technology category, the center said that “The average of the applicability index has increased from the previous period.”

The creativity “sub-index accounts for 16% of the total index,” and the top five projects are Bitcoin, Ethereum, EOS, Litecoin and Lisk. This category focuses on “continuous innovation in the public chain,” the CCID explained, adding that “The innovation sub-indices of Litecoin, Bytecoin, EOS, Nebulas and Hcash have increased significantly from the previous period,” However, the center concluded that overall, “the average value of the innovation sub-index has declined to a certain extent compared with the previous period, indicating that the activity of global public-chain technology innovation is decreasing.”

What do you think of CCID’s latest ranking? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Why Africa Continues to Lag Behind in Cryptocurrency Adoption

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Africa continues to dominate Google Trends search interest for “bitcoin,” but that has not translated into widespread adoption of cryptocurrency by users and businesses. Apart from opaque regulation and a lack of awareness, one of the major reasons for this failure has been the expansive use of mobile money on the continent.

Also read: Report: 87% of Crypto Exchanges May Be Falsifying Volume

Crypto Adoption Disappoints, Even as Africa Dominates Bitcoin Search Interest

According to Google Trends, the biggest search interest for bitcoin in the world is by potential investors from Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya – the three biggest cryptocurrency markets in Africa. That dominance is, however, predominantly limited to trading activities on exchanges. On a few occasions, bitcoin may be used as a means of payment, mostly to overseas suppliers.

But despite that world-leading interest, Africa still lags behind the rest of the world in everyday BTC use and adoption. The cryptocurrency has found it difficult to break the stranglehold of convenience, simplicity and efficiency that, like a magnet, draws millions of Africans to mobile money. The continent of 1.2 billion people is home to over 50 percent of the world’s mobile money services.

Why Africa Continues to Lag Behind in Cryptocurrency Adoption
Google Trends chart for the keyword “bitcoin”

For example, with a basic telephone handset, one can send or receive money via SMS anywhere within a particular country, without the need of an internet connection. By comparison, you will need a smartphone and a secure internet connection to complete a cryptocurrency transaction. While internet use has risen sharply in the past 20 years, users from Africa account for just 10 percent of the global total, making the case for crypto on the continent even more cryptic. Also, erratic power supplies in many countries continue to impede the internet access on which cryptocurrency largely depends.

Beating Mobile Money at Its Own Game

Vin Armani, founder and CTO of Cointext, an internet-free wallet service that allows users to send or receive bitcoin cash (BCH) via SMS – just like mobile money – believes his service could rival mobile money in the continent. In Africa, Cointext is currently available only in South Africa, and it’s unclear how many people are actually using the service there. “We are preparing to make a major announcement that will give us global coverage (in every country),” Armani told news.Bitcoin.com.

Why Africa Continues to Lag Behind in Cryptocurrency Adoption

“We’re currently working on an integration that will make us available for smartphones throughout Africa. We’re also working on SMS solutions for a few other African countries,” another official from Cointext explained separately.

Elisha Owusu Akyaw, a 17-year-old Ghanian crypto investor and influencer, has made a fortune investing in bitcoin. He believes that “Cryptocurrencies should probably integrate with mobile banking platforms.” Akyaw might have a point. The mobile money sensation has grown very deeply in African economics to the extent, perhaps, of defining its people.

“The power of financial technology to expand access to and use of accounts is demonstrated most persuasively in Sub-Saharan Africa,” the World Bank’s Global Findex Database detailed in its financial inclusion survey, which found 21 percent of adults on the continent now have a mobile money account. This is “nearly twice the share in 2014 and easily the highest of any region in the world.”

If that is not enough, cryptocurrencies will likely have to fight tooth and nail to gain any reasonable market share in the mobile money-dominated payment systems in Africa, a region often touted as the next frontier for virtual currencies. In Zimbabwe, publicly listed Econet Wireless controls 95 percent of the mobile money market share through its Ecocash platform. The seven year-old service is so successful that almost every government department depends on it for electronic payments.

Why Africa Continues to Leg Behind in Cryptocurrency Adoption

With more than six million users in the Southern African country, Ecocash has processed over $23 billion worth of transactions since launch in September 2011. It boasts more than 32,000 agents (merchants) throughout Zimbabwe. This is the sort of entrenched competition that cryptocurrencies will have to contend with. There will be 725 million mobile phone subscribers in Africa by 2020, according to the GSM Association, who could either plug into crypto or mobile money.

Cumbersome Registration Processes Dissuade Crypto Use

Bernard Parah, a 26 year-old entrepreneur from Lagos, Nigeria, recognizes this challenge and opportunity. Two years ago, he founded Bitnob Quickserve, a platform that allows Africans to buy vouchers and reedem them for BTC without the need to complete KYC or AML procedures. Parah posits that one of the biggest hindrances to cryptocurrency adoption is the labyrinth of verifications required by exchanges at registration.

“We believe that [the service] will reduce the entry barrier for many people who want to try out bitcoins here in Africa,” Parah told news.Bitcoin.com. “Onboarding users needs to be made simpler. Many first time users give up at the point where they have to upload their personal identity details for verification.”

Why Africa Continues to Leg Behind in Cryptocurrency Adoption

Parah also pointed to ease of use and the fear of loss of funds without recovery as stumbling blocks. “A bitcoin address looks like a foreign language to new users,” he notes. “Many people are not ready to be their own banks, they would rather settle for convenience over security,” said Parah, who reckons there’s need for more awareness and education about crypto.

A litany of fake bitcoin schemes have not helped the cryptocurrency cause either. In Uganda, for example, thousands of people have fallen victim to a number of Ponzi schemes, including the D9 Club, which promised to pay members in BTC. The scheme, now collapsed, masqueraded as a sports trading company, promising members hefty weekly payouts in bitcoin on initial investment of between $250 and $2,000. “Scams give Africa [and crypto] a bad name,” decried Chimezie Chuta, an IT specialist and bitcoin enthusiast from Nigeria. Regulation has, as always, been a sticky issue where bitcoin is concerned.

What do think about cryptocurrency adoption in Africa? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Indian Exchange Launches Lending Program for 5 Cryptocurrencies

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An Indian crypto exchange has launched a program that allows its users to earn interest on their cryptocurrencies held at the exchange. Initially, users can lend BTC, USDT, BNB, XRP, and ETH. The CEO of the exchange has shared details about this new offering with news.Bitcoin.com.

Also read: Crypto Enthusiasts Unite in 4 Indian Cities to Voice Regulatory Suggestions

Lending Cryptocurrencies

Coindcx announced Thursday that its crypto lending program called Dcxlend has come out of the beta testing phase and is now fully launched. Five cryptocurrencies are supported: BTC, USDT, ETH, XRP, and BNB.

The exchange’s website currently displays monthly interest rates of 2 percent for BTC, 1 percent for USDT, 1 percent for BNB, 0.75 percent for XRP, and 0.75 percent for ETH. CEO Sumit Gupta told news.Bitcoin.com that BTC has the highest interest rate “because our traders mostly do margin trading in BTC markets (hence high demand for BTC lenders).”

Indian Exchange Launches Lending Program for 5 Cryptocurrencies

The exchange detailed that there are “three lending term lengths: 7 days, 15 days, and 30 days. The interest rate varies dynamically and goes up to a maximum of 2%, according to market dynamics — demand and supply.” Furthermore, its website states that “the cryptocurrencies lent through Dcxlend will be used to provide leverage to users on Dcxmargin,” another service the exchange offers.

Gupta shared with news.Bitcoin.com that during the beta testing period with just BTC and USDT, “we had roughly 120 lenders which led to a circulation of 170 BTC on a daily basis.” Claiming that the program has recently garnered more attention from lenders, he remarked, “Hence we’re scaling it up and will keep on adding more coins.”

The CEO explained that his exchange has an internal settlement and liquidation mechanism for margin trading which does not have “a dedicated funding wallet,” elaborating:

Funds are then lent to the users only when the margin trade is open, with no withdrawal access and hard liquidation with 7.5% maintenance margin.

Indian Exchange Launches Lending Program for 5 Cryptocurrencies

Similar Programs Worldwide

In the U.S., Blockfi recently introduced a savings account that enables customers to earn 6.2 percent annually on their BTC and ETH. Meanwhile, regulated bitcoin derivatives exchange and clearinghouse Ledgerx has a program called Ledgersavings which allows clients to earn an implied rate of around 16 percent annually.

In Japan, regulated exchange GMO Coin launched a lending program for BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, and XRP last year. However, at the time of this writing, the exchange is only borrowing BTC but customers can lend between 10 and 500 BTC over 181 days and earn up to an annual rate of 5 percent.

Indian Exchange Launches Lending Program for 5 Cryptocurrencies

Recently-licensed Japanese exchange Coincheck, which was hacked in January last year, also has a lending program for BTC with a maximum annual rate of 5 percent. Prior to the hack, this service supported 12 cryptocurrencies.

Bitbank, another regulated Japanese exchange, also offers up to 5 percent interest annually for users lending between 1 and 25 BTC. Besides BTC, the exchange plans to extend the offer to BCH, ETH, LTC, XRP, and MONA.

Would you lend your cryptocurrencies to an exchange? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Report: 87% of Crypto Exchanges May Be Falsifying Volume

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At least 87 percent of cryptocurrency exchanges may have falsified their reported trade volumes, a new study claims. According to a review of the top 100 exchanges by analytics company The Tie, most of the trading volume on the world’s largest crypto trading platforms is suspect.

Also read: Quadrigacx Co-Founder a Convicted Fraudster

Suspicious Trading Volumes

“In total we estimated that 87 percent of exchanges’ reported trading volume was potentially suspicious and that 75 percent of exchanges had some form of suspicious activity occurring on them,” the company revealed in a series of tweets on its research findings.

“If each exchange averaged the volume per visit of CoinbasePro, Gemini, Poloniex, Binance, and Kraken, we would expect the real trading volume among the largest 100 exchanges to equal $2.1 billion per day. Currently that number is being reported as $15.9 billion,” added The Tie.

Report: 87% of Crypto Exchanges May Be Falsifying Volume
Trading volumes per exchange vs monthly web visits

Manipulation of trading volume data by exchanges has remained an area of concern within the cryptocurrency market. Several factors can artificially grow volume, making it look like there’s demand for a particular digital asset when interest is actually minimal or non-existent. Investors are often lured to exchanges with inflated volumes as that tends to create an element of trust and an impression of liquidity. However, doubts about the integrity of crypto markets could be preventing some professionals from entering the space and prompting closer regulatory scrutiny.

Inflated Volumes

In its study, The Tie looked at weighted average trading volume per user visit at major crypto exchanges Binance, Coinbase Pro, Poloniex, Gemini and Kraken – averaging $591 – and used similar metrics on other smaller exchanges. The New York-based company indicated that these exchanges were selected on account of their “large usage among institutions, reputation in the market, and because their web viewership appeared consistent with their reported trading volumes.”

It found that about 60 percent of exchanges reported volume that was 10 times higher than expected, at least as far as traffic to their websites was concerned. The practice was most prevalent at Bitmax, ZBG, Coinbene, Lbank and BW, the researchers alleged. Binance, Kraken, Coinbase Pro, and Poloniex had expected volume in line with their reported trading volume.

Report: 87% of Crypto Exchanges May Be Falsifying Volume
Expected real trading volume/Reported trading volume per exchange

While website viewership metrics don’t account for API or mobile app trading, they do provide a good basis of comparison across exchanges to identify suspicious reported volumes, explained The Tie. “Our team set out to determine whether volumes reported on cryptocurrency exchanges were genuine. We started by pulling a list of the top 100 exchanges by traded volume over the last 30 days,” the company said.

It continued: “We then used Similar Web website viewership metrics to calculate the estimated 30 days traffic to each exchange’s website. After doing this, we divided the reported volume for each exchange by the number of monthly website visits to determine the reported volume per visit.”

What do you think about exchanges reporting suspicious trading volume? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Quadrigacx Co-Founder Michael Patryn Is Actually Convicted Fraudster Omar Dhanani

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Quadrigacx co-founder Michael Patryn is actually a convicted criminal who went by the name Omar Dhanani, a Bloomberg report alleges. Dhanani has been previously convicted of identity theft linked to bank and credit card fraud and sentenced to 18 months in a U.S. federal prison. He was later deported to Canada.

Also read: Spain’s 2gether Unveils Crypto Debit Card, as Polispay is Forced to Cancel its Mastercard

A Man of Many Faces

While Dhanani, now known as Patryn, refused to comment on the matter, Bloomberg claims to have obtained records that confirm the man’s criminal past and his changing of names twice, in 2003 and 2008. Patryn co-founded troubled Canadian exchange Quadrigacx with the late Gerald Cotten in 2013.

Quadrigacx Co-Founder Michael Patryn Is Actually Convicted Fraudster Omar Dhanani
Omar Dhanani a.k.a Michael Patryn

He allegedly changed his name from Omar Dhanani to Omar Patryn with the British Columbia government in March 2003. The news agency reported that in 2008, Dhanani became known as Michael Patryn, having registered a new name in the same Canadian province.

In the U.S., Dhanani had been charged with several crimes, including pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit credit and bank card fraud in 2005, Bloomberg noted, quoting a statement from the U.S. Justice Department. He was just 22 years old at the time. Dhanani allegedly operated a website called shadowcrew.com, now defunct, peddling 1.5 million stolen credit and bank card numbers, claims the article.

In 2007, he confessed to numerous unrelated crimes that include burglary, grand larceny and computer fraud. He served 18 months in prison for some of his criminal cases and was later deported to Canada, where he reinvented himself, becoming involved with cryptocurrencies. Patryn, now based in Vietnam, describes himself as a “fintech advisor and portfolio manager” and has been serving as founder and chairman of Canadian blockchain incubator Ventures Group (FVG).

Quadrigacx Co-Founder Michael Patryn Is Actually Convicted Fraudster Omar Dhanani

Deepening Mystery

The entrepreneur reportedly left Quadrigacx in 2016 over fundamental disagreements with chief executive officer Gerald Cotten over the company’s plans to go public. “On the day of our disagreement, I left the company and ceased being privy to operational decisions,” Patryn told Bloomberg in an email. “Since that time, I have not been involved in the operations or management of any of the Quadriga companies.”

However, the latest revelations add yet another layer of intrigue to a case that has held the cryptocurrency industry spellbound since the exchange’s sudden closure in January. More than 115,000 customers have been left out to dry in the wake of the saga, unsure whether they will ever recover their combined $190 million in cryptocurrency, until now believed to have been buried together with Cotten.

The company has been under court-approved creditor protection since Feb. 5, with Ernst & Young acting as monitor under the process. Investigations by the auditors revealed that six of Quadriga’s cold wallets have been without funds since long before Cotten’s death. His widow claims Cotten funded Quadriga’s withdrawal requests from his pocket following banking troubles involving the exchange’s business accounts.

According to Bloomberg, Patryn has been trying to hide his past, hiring a company to purge any negative digital footprints that might soil his reputation. Patryn has previously denied he was Omar Dhanani, according to a Globe and Mail newspaper article published in February. He also distanced himself from his alleged criminal record.

What do you think about Quadriga’s continuing mystery? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Switzerland’s Largest Online Retailer Starts Accepting 10 Cryptocurrencies

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The largest Swiss online retailer, Digitec Galaxus, has started accepting crypto payments at its two stores. Customers can choose from 10 cryptocurrencies to pay with including BTC, BCH, BNB, ETH, TRX, OMG, and XRP. One of the stores specializes in consumer electronics while the other focuses on everyday needs.

Also read: SEC Chair Explains Key Upgrades Needed for Bitcoin ETF Approval

Digitec Galaxus Accepts Crypto Payments

Digitec Galaxus AG announced Tuesday that customers can now pay for their purchases with cryptocurrencies at its two online shops: digitec and Galaxus. Ten cryptocurrencies are supported — BTC, BCH, BSV, BNB, ETH, LTC, NEO, OMG, TRX, and XRP.

Switzerland's Largest Online Retailer Starts Accepting 10 Cryptocurrencies
Checkout page on galaxus.ch.

Claudio Schaad, leader of Team Spectre, one of the teams that make up the engineering department at Digitec Galaxus AG, discussed the new payment option in a blog post on his company’s website. “We’ve been looking into cryptocurrencies for a while now,” he revealed. The post explains that “instead of creating an own wallet or even cryptocurrency, digicon or the such, Spectre chose [to] work with a company called Coinify,” adding:

In simpler terms: while shopping, if your purchase price exceeds 200 francs, you have the option to pay with cryptocurrencies. What arrives on digitec’s end are Swiss francs.

Digitec specializes in IT, consumer electronics and telecommunications goods while Galaxus claims to be the largest online department store in Switzerland with a growing range of products for everyday needs. The two stores form Digitec Galaxus AG, its website describes.

Switzerland’s Largest Online Retailer Now Accepts 10 Cryptocurrencies

According to Oliver Herren, co-founder and CIO of Digitec Galaxus, the company currently has around 2.7 million items for sale, from shoehorns to wheat beer to gaming PCs. He was quoted as saying:

Cryptocurrencies are fascinating and could become a relevant means of payment in e-commerce — we want to support this development.

Paying With Cryptocurrencies

A blog post on Galaxus’ website details that “The new payment option was created as part of a pilot project together with the Swiss e-payment specialist Datatrans AG,” which works with Danish crypto payment provider Coinify.

Customers shopping on digitec or Galaxus can choose to pay with cryptocurrency at checkout. They will be redirected to a page on Coinify which displays the amount due in BTC with a QR code. Customers can choose among the 10 supported cryptocurrencies and complete the checkout process. Prices are locked in for 15 minutes.

Switzerland's Largest Online Retailer Starts Accepting 10 Cryptocurrencies

When choosing a cryptocurrency other than BTC, customers are asked to provide an address so that funds can be returned should an error occur. Furthermore, the company warns of a processing delay when paying with other coins.

Switzerland's Largest Online Retailer Starts Accepting 10 Cryptocurrencies

The blog post further notes that “Normally, the payment confirmation by Coinify takes place within a few minutes,” adding:

Digitec Galaxus does not charge any fees for cryptocurrency payments. Coinify charges a conversion fee of 1.5% of the purchase amount. Other, but small, transaction fees will be charged depending on the currency, as well as how fast the transaction is to be confirmed.

What do you think of Digitec Galaxus accepting 10 cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Coinify, and Digitec Galaxus AG.


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