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Post Office in Liechtenstein Now Sells BTC

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The government-owned post office in Liechtenstein has begun offering a cryptocurrency exchange service. Initially, the post office in the capital city of Vaduz will sell BTC, with four more cryptocurrencies planned. The service is in partnership with Zug-based Värdex Suisse, the operator of “the largest crypto ATM network in Switzerland.”

Also read: Indian Supreme Court Moves Crypto Hearing, Community Calls for Positive Regulations

Post Office Selling BTC

Liechtensteinische Post AG announced on Feb. 15 that it has begun selling BTC at the counter of the post office in the capital city of Vaduz. “In search of new business opportunities, Liechtensteinische Post AG has decided to offer a new exchange [service] of cryptocurrencies in its post offices,” Friday’s announcement reads. The Post elaborated:

After an introductory phase, the offer will be extended to other post offices and the exchange of additional cryptocurrencies … It will then be possible to change bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH), litecoin (LTC), bitcoin cash (BCH) and ripple (XRP).

The announcement further notes that, after making a BTC purchase, customers will receive “a physical crypto wallet” which includes both the public and private keys.

Post Office in Liechtenstein Now Sells BTC

Founded in 1999, Liechtensteinische Post AG comprises nine post offices and three postal partners, according to its website. Prior to Dec. 31, 1999, the postal service of Liechtenstein, a country with approximately 38,000 people, was managed by Swiss Post, the national postal service of Switzerland which is a public company owned by the Swiss Confederation. Now Swiss Post owns 25 percent of Liechtensteinische Post and the government of Liechtenstein owns the remaining 75 percent.

Partnership With Värdex Suisse

Liechtensteinische Post explained that Swiss Post had always been in “the conventional money exchange business,” therefore “nothing is different” by adding cryptocurrencies to the existing service.

This new service is enabled through a partnership with Zug-based Värdex Suisse AG, a subsidiary spun off from Bitcoin Suisse AG at the end of 2017 in order to meet the growing demand for POS solutions, Liechtensteinische Post detailed.

Post Office in Liechtenstein Now Sells BTC

“Värdex is Switzerland’s largest, financially regulated blockchain and POS network operator,” the company describes itself. It is a member of the Financial Services Standards Association (VQF) and part of the Crypto Valley Zug community.

Its website also states that “Värdex Suisse is operating the largest crypto ATM network in Switzerland,” listing a total of 26 locations, all of which support BTC, ETH, and LTC. According to Coinatmradar, there are 48 cryptocurrency ATMs in Switzerland. Zurich has 13 machines, the most in the country, followed by Basel with six machines and Geneva with five. Other major ATM operators in the country are Bity with six locations and Bitc with 14 locations.

What do you think of Liechtensteinische Post selling cryptocurrencies at post office counters? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Liechtensteinische Post.


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RSK Sidechain Is Now Secured by 45% of BTC’s Hashrate

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On Feb. 14, the cryptocurrency infrastructure organization led by RSK Labs announced the one-year anniversary of the RSK network and highlighted several notable achievements. Over the last 12 months, the project’s merge mining has managed to gather 45 percent of the Bitcoin Core (BTC) network hashrate, making the RSK smart contract system more secure than most blockchains.

Also Read: Bitcoin’s Social Contract Must Be Resilient to the Whims of Future Generations

Smart Contract Infrastructure Backed by More Than 20 Exahash of PoW

At approximately 1:41 a.m. CST on January 4, 2018, RSK Labs mined the sidechain’s genesis block. Since then, the blockchain network has increased its merge mining hashrate from 4 percent of the BTC network to 45 percent today. Following this milestone, the RSK team announced that the company’s RSK sidechain has become “the most secure smart contract platform in the world.” RSK’s recent blog post explains that to 51 percent attack the BTC chain would cost $244,853 per hour. “By surpassing 45% of the hashing power of the Bitcoin network, an attack on the RSK smart contract network would cost approximately US$ 112,000 per hour,” the RSK announcement detailed. “This makes RSK one of the most secure and reliable platforms for developers to build their decentralized apps (dapps), and proves that merge-mining can succeed in securing Bitcoin sidechains.”

RSK Sidechain Is Now Secured by 45% of BTC's Hashrate
The merge mined sidechain RSK has been tethered to the BTC blockchain for more than a year, gathering 45% of the overall hashrate.

During the announcement, Diego Gutierrez Zaldivar, chief executive of RSK Labs, explained that because BTC miners are able to secure its own chain alongside sidechains at no added cost, this gives people the ability to build layer 2 solutions confidently. Moreover, the RSK executive details that this type of system also facilitates layer 3 solutions.

“The development of layer 3 services — such as RIF OS — will be vital to scale Bitcoin and RSK to service tens of millions of users while providing peer-to-peer financial services, secure messaging, data storage, and other forms of decentralized services powered by Bitcoin,” Zaldivar emphasized.

Root Infrastructure Framework and the Internet of Value

The RIF system stands for Root Infrastructure Framework Open Standard (RIF OS) and the system is a purpose-driven organization that provides developers with peer-to-peer infrastructure services and software libraries to support easier and scalable dapp development. Over the last year, RSK Labs has partnered with more than 50 crypto-related organizations in order to expand the RSK sidechain network. Initially, the project started with its original 21 million smart bitcoins (SBTC) which circulate within the RSK network. But with the RIF OS, the company has created the RIF token which is intended to enable compatibility with RIF OS protocols and dapps.

RSK Sidechain Is Now Secured by 45% of BTC's Hashrate
The founders of RSK Labs have created a supply of RIF tokens for the firm’s new Root Infrastructure Framework Open Standard (RIF OS) system. Initially, there are only 320 million RIF tokens and the rest of the units are locked in the smart contract and dispersed over the course of five years.

People interested in how the RIF OS infrastructure works and its associated token can read the whitepaper written by the founding members of RSK Labs. The RIF token smart contract was officially deployed on the RSK blockchain on November 9, 2018, at approximately 8:12 p.m. UTC. At the moment, the RIF token smart contract has minted 1 billion coins, but only 320 million have been made available to be redeemed by the early contributors to the project, the RIF token whitepaper explains. The rest of the tokens are locked into the contract and will unlock themselves autonomously over a period of five years.

“Bitcoin set the foundation for the construction of a new internet for the transfer of value,” Zaldivar detailed. “Both the RSK smart contract network and RIF OS were created as a means to move this vision further with the hopes that this new internet of value will foster prosperity and equality around the world.”

Cryptocurrency community members haven’t seen a merge mining project like RSK since the Namecoin project which works in a similar fashion. Many other blockchains can be merge mined with the same proof-of-work (PoW) consensus algorithm that allows various networks to be mined simultaneously. Essentially the RSK blockchain works in the same manner and the smart contract system is bolstered by being secured by more than 20,000,000 trillion hashes per second at the time of writing.

What do you think about RSK’s smart contract system? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, RIF OS, and Rsk Labs. 


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Indian Blockchain Summit Draws Policy Makers to Speed up Crypto Regulation

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An Indian government-supported blockchain summit is drawing many policy makers with the aim to speed up the development of cryptocurrency regulation in the country. Among expected participants are officials from the Indian Ministry of Finance and the panel currently tasked with drafting the regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies.

Also read: Indian Supreme Court Moves Crypto Hearing, Community Calls for Positive Regulations

Fostering Crypto Ecosystem

Blockchain Summit India 2019 is supported by the Indian government’s Department of Science and Technology and the State Government of Uttar Pradesh. Taking place on Feb. 22 and 23, the event aims to accelerate blockchain and cryptocurrency policy formation for India. According to its website:

The summit is targeted towards enabling Indian government and ministries to speed up the process of developing a flourished blockchain and cryptocurrency ecosystem.

Indian Blockchain Summit Draws Policy Makers to Speed Up Cryptocurrency Regulation

Janina Lowisz, Marketing VP at Cashaa, the event’s fintech partner, told news.Bitcoin.com that “for the first time, the ministers from all relevant departments have come together with experts from the space as well as from leading universities and global brands to learn about and speed up the process of regulating cryptocurrency.”

In addition to the Department of Science and Technology and the State Government of Uttar Pradesh, other government participants include the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Ministry of Law and Justice, the Ministry of Human Resources Development, and the Department of Information Technology.

Ministry of Finance and Crypto Regulation

The regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies in India is currently being drafted by a committee headed by Subhash Chandra Garg, Secretary of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Finance.

Lowisz confirmed to news.Bitcoin.com that “Ministry of Finance officials will be there [at the summit].” She also confirmed that “An invitation has been sent to Mr. Garg.” While noting that he himself is out of the country, she emphasized that “his team will be there to take the notes on Day 2.”

Indian Blockchain Summit Draws Policy Makers to Speed Up Cryptocurrency Regulation

The report containing recommendations for cryptocurrency regulation in India is reportedly in its final stage. However, there have been conflicting reports of what the recommendations entail. One source suggests a ban on cryptocurrencies while another discusses legalization with strong riders.

The Ministry of Finance has also told Lok Sabha that it “is pursuing the matter with due caution,” noting that “It is difficult to state a specific timeline to come up with clear recommendations.” In January, the ministry invited reputed law firm Nishith Desai Associates to present its proposals for the crypto regulation. Meanwhile, the banking ban imposed by the country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), is still in effect. The supreme court is set to hear the petitions against this ban at the end of this month.

What crypto regulatory framework do you think India will come up with? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Bitcoin’s Social Contract Must Be Resilient to the Whims of Future Generations

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Over the last few years, infighting and different visions has led to significant divides within the Bitcoin community, weakening the network effects no matter which chain you support. With all the arguments about scaling, privacy, consensus changes and the various forks, it is amazing that these public networks are still thriving. Nevertheless, the people who maintain the various software protocols that communicate with Bitcoin and the network’s many participants have lives that are finite — which means we don’t know if future generations will change the social contract Satoshi Nakamoto created years ago.

Also Read: Core Developer’s 300kb Block Proposal Bolstered in Bid to Push Lightning Adoption

Understanding the Social Layer of Bitcoin

The technology we all know and love called Bitcoin has changed the lives of many individuals over the last 10 years. However, during the latter half of that decade, the humans who have maintained the protocol have relentlessly argued over how it should operate. This has led to a large community divide, endless fighting, and many different forks. The protocol itself, however, has been able to continuously perpetuate the social contract we call “Bitcoin” during this period. However, the arguments have led to wavering opinions and whimsical ideas that threaten the Bitcoin network’s social contract.

Bitcoin's Social Contract Must Be Resilient to the Whims of Future Generations
“Money presents an important lesson: The larger and more valuable a social institution gets, the more it attracts others to seek control over it,” Hasu Fly Dec. 3, 2018. 

The independent cryptocurrency researcher Hasu Fly details the social contract very well in his memorable essay “Unpacking Bitcoin’s Social Contract.” Within the editorial Hasu details that fiat money is a social contract or an agreement between the citizens and the state. Many individuals reject this social contract though and believe the state fails to gain true consensus because it uses force as a means to manage each country’s economy. With Bitcoin, things are quite different and the protocol is used by individuals and organizations in a completely voluntary manner.

“Many don’t realize that Bitcoin works through a social contract as well,” explains Hasu’s essay. “The social layer and its rules are the heart of Bitcoin.”

After describing in great detail on how fiat money and Bitcoin are both social contracts, Hasu then reveals the rules of the network’s underlying social contract. The researcher details that Satoshi Nakamoto settled on four distinct rules: confiscation resistance, censorship resistance, inflation resistance, and counterfeit resistance. Essentially this means the owner of the coins can hold keys to the currency without it being taken away, and the owner can also transact on the network without permission. An owner of any amount of bitcoin knows that the protocol has a limited supply, and last but not least anyone can verify the first three rules at any time using the transparent and public blockchain.

Bitcoin's Social Contract Must Be Resilient to the Whims of Future Generations
The four rules of Bitcoin according to Hasu Fly’s essay “Unpacking Bitcoin’s Social Contract.”

Future Generations Could Drastically Change Bitcoin

So far the technology has stayed true to the social contract and one could easily say this applies to each network whether it be BTC or BCH. Hasu’s essay also details that most of the time social contracts do not fork, but the BCH fork was a rare case scenario and what was left over was “two weaker social contracts — each agreed to by fewer people than the old one.” However, we have yet to cross past one generation with the social contract in the decade since the genesis block. When people recently discussed changing the 21 million capped supply the community went ballistic, but in 10 more years we don’t know if future generations will be more willing. The average human generation is between 25-30 years and bitcoin could be changed drastically in 40 years if the social contract is not upheld today. Let’s face it, over time generations change things and some of those revisions are good and sometimes they are awful — like changing from the gold standard to fiat and trusting central banks.

Bitcoin's Social Contract Must Be Resilient to the Whims of Future Generations
Satoshi Nakamoto suggested in the genesis block back in Jan. 2009 that society had put too much trust in the central banking system. Future generations have continued to bolster centrally planned economics and Keynesianism.

For now, some of the lead developers of reference implementations are kings of the hill – or at least that’s how they act. But over time, younger generations who are smarter and can code better will challenge these open source developers, and at some point their skills will be useless. Ultimately when money is used as a social contract, participants vote by either using the tender or seeking alternatives. Furthermore, money not only applies to its own social contract theory in a general sense, but also weaves within other social contracts within our society. Like it or not, any one of the two dominant Bitcoin chains may be chosen by the masses by coexisting in an entirely different way and one chain may not survive over the next decade.

Bitcoin's Social Contract Must Be Resilient to the Whims of Future Generations
“Bitcoin at its most fundamental level is a breakthrough in computer science – one that builds on 20 years of research into cryptographic currency, and 40 years of research in cryptography, by thousands of researchers around the world,” – Marc Andreessen Jan. 21, 2014.

Bitcoin’s 4 Fundamentals Must Be Passed On

Still, if the first generation of users decides to stick to the rules of Bitcoin’s social contract they must continue to strengthen the agreement. After 10 years, many well-known bitcoiners are willing to dismiss the global understanding and want to discuss changing the rules. Some supporters want to instill censorship by only giving affluent individuals the ability to transact onchain and store value in Bitcoin, by bolstering a barrier to entry with expensive network fees.

Bitcoin's Social Contract Must Be Resilient to the Whims of Future Generations
All Bitcoin supporters can do is pass on Bitcoin’s social contract and rules to future generations and hope they won’t change the fundamentals.

The ultimate goal has always been “hyperbitcoinztion,” but if we waver on the very foundations of Bitcoin’s social convention then nothing will be socially, morally, and rationally justified. Over the last few years, some people have dismissed Satoshi’s genius and the fact he created a near perfect system that has been Byzantine fault tolerant for 10 years with 99.98332 percent uptime. Many people to this day, whichever camp they are in (BCH or BTC), still believe in Bitcoin’s rules wholeheartedly. However, with all the infighting and shifting opinions on the true meaning of rules 1-4 these issues may challenge future generations. The Bitcoin network we know of today may not be the same when our sons and daughters begin to truly participate unless we keep some consistency on the social layer. It is quite obvious that those who do not want Bitcoin’s technology to succeed are attacking the root of the social layer today, and will not relent until they have achieved their aims.

What do you think about future generations changing the social contract called Bitcoin? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

OP-ed disclaimer: This is an Op-ed article. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the Op-ed article. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the content. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any information in this Op-ed article.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Vacate Wall Street, and Hasu Fly’s 2018 essay.


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Stablecoins Dominate Currency Pairings for Leading Crypto Assets

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Amidst the ongoing cryptocurrency bear market, stablecoins have continued to gain prominence, with USDT currently comprising the dominant pairing for three of the four largest cryptocurrencies by market cap. 

Also Read: Localbitcoins Trade Surges in Latin America and East Asia

USDT Comprises Dominant Pairing for 3 of Top 4 Cryptocurrencies by Market Cap

According to Cryptocompare, USDT currently comprises the largest currency pairing by volume for three of the four largest crypto assets by capitalization.

In the last 30 days, USDT pairings have comprised more than 67% of total BTC trade, nearly 46% of total ETH trade, and 48% of LTC trade.

While BTC is the dominant pairing for XRP, with almost 49% of monthly volume, USDT is the second-most traded pairing with 22.60%.

Stablecoins Dominate Currency Pairings for Leading Crypto Assets

Stablecoins Dominate Currency Pairing Rankings for Leading Crypto Assets

Aside from the dominance of USDT pairings, other stablecoins are increasingly populating the rankings for top currency pairings of the leading crypto assets.

Four of the top 10 BTC pairings by volume are currently stablecoins, with QC ranking fifth with 2.7% of monthly volume, PAX ranking eighth with 0.55%, and USDC ranking 10th with 0.41%, in addition to USDT holding the top ranking.

Half of the top 10 currency pairings for ETH by volume are stablecoins, with USDT joined by fourth-ranked QC with 3.13% of monthly trade, sixth-ranked BITCNY with 1.41% of trade, eighth-ranked PAX with 0.28%, and 10th-ranked DAI with 0.23%.

Stablecoins Dominate Currency Pairings for Leading Crypto Assets

Stablecoins comprise four of the 10 most-traded pairings for ripple. Aside from USDT, XRP’s dominant stablecoin pairings are sixth-ranked QC with 4.02% of trade during the previous 30 days, ninth-ranked OKB with 0.23% of trade, and 10th-ranked PAX with 0.22%.

Four of the top 10 LTC pairings are also stablecoins, with QC ranking fourth with 1.05%, TUSD ranking seventh with 0.27%, OKB ranking ninth with 0.22%, and USDT ranking as the dominant trading pair.

What is your response to the increasing presence of stablecoins among the top currency pairings for the leading crypto assets? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock


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Crypto Exchange Globitex Launches Banking Solution With Instant Transfers

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Cryptocurrency exchange Globitex has launched a new service called the Euro Wallet which allows users to make and receive euro payments in their personal IBAN accounts like any other European bank account. The company claims that this service is a solution to banks closing accounts of crypto businesses.

Also read: Indian Supreme Court Moves Crypto Hearing, Community Calls for Positive Regulations

Globitex’s Banking Solutions

European cryptocurrency exchange Globitex announced on Wednesday the launch of its new service called the Euro Wallet. The company is co-founded by early bitcoin adopter and former executive director of the Bitcoin Foundation Jon Matonis.

Crypto Exchange Globitex Launches Banking Solution With Instant Transfers

The announcement reads:

The Euro Wallet allows users to make and receive EUR payments on a personal IBAN account like any other EUR bank account. The account can be accessed on the cryptocurrency exchange platform providing the user with seamless transactions and EUR under their full control in mere seconds, after withdrawing from their Globitex trading account.

The service is designed to assist crypto users, traders, miners, and businesses in the EU. Globitex CEO Uldis Teraudkalns explained that this new product offers “access to a fully functional IBAN account via the Globitex cryptocurrency exchange as well as instant deposits / withdrawals on Globitex trading account.” According to its website, the exchange currently supports the trading of BTC, BCH, ETH, GBX, and EURS.

In addition to various fees for using the service, there is a monthly outbound transaction limit of 30,000 euros (~$33,832) for individuals or 200,000 euros for corporate entities.

The Benefits

Globitex explained that among the benefits the new service offers are personal IBAN accounts, SEPA transfers, instant EUR deposits and withdrawals from trading accounts, and the ability to make third-party payments. Meanwhile, actual euro “funds are kept at a European central bank,” the company noted.

Crypto Exchange Globitex Launches Banking Solution With Instant Transfers

Teraudkalns reiterated that the new service provides users with their personal EUR account on the same platform as their trading account, thus allowing for instant transfers which save them “time and money when moving funds.” He elaborated that all EUR exchanges let customers access their money “only with an extra step of transferring the EUR funds to another bank account” in their name which “depending on the bank the exchange uses can take 1-2 days.”

Furthermore, he emphasized that his company “will never say no to a client because their business is related to cryptocurrency,” unlike many banks in Europe that close customer accounts dealing in cryptocurrencies with no explanation or charge them “ridiculous fees for banking services.”

E-money License

The Euro Wallet is powered by Globitex’s parent company, Nexpay UAB. Nexpay was granted an e-money license (EMI) in October 2017 by the Bank of Lithuania to carry out payment services and e-money issuance in the EU. Matonis is listed as the CEO of the company on the central bank’s website. This license allows the company to “provide clients with payment services and e-money issuance across all 28 countries,” Globitex proclaimed.

Crypto Exchange Globitex Launches Banking Solution With Instant Transfers

“Acquisition of the EMI licence brings with it the possibility of integrating with the SEPA euro payments system directly through the Central Bank of Lithuania,” the exchange described. “This will enable Nexpay to clear euro payments directly, without the involvement of commercial banks, and to issue IBAN accounts to Globitex clients just like banks issue accounts to clients.”

What do you think of Globitex’s new service? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Chinese Miners Flock to Sichuan for Cheap Electricity During the Wet Season

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Over the last two months, the hashrate between the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin Core (BTC) networks has increased significantly since hitting a low on December 15, 2018. Numerous reports detail that many Chinese miners who control a large portion of SHA-256 hashrate have been recently setting up shop in Sichuan. During the wet season here, miners can get an astounding 0.08 yuan per kWh or $0.01 per kWh.

Also Read: Self-Proclaimed ‘Satoshi’ Responds to Billion-Dollar Bitcoin Lawsuit

Chinese Mining Operations Return to Sichuan in Order to Snatch Cheap Hydro Power

Several reports detail that during the last three weeks, Chinese miners have been flocking back to the Sichuan region in order to obtain cheap hydroelectric energy. The migration follows the significant hashrate decline in December when the SHA-256 hashrate between BTC and BCH declined by about 30 percent from its all-time high. During the dry season in Sichuan, Chinese miners positioned themselves in other locations throughout China and other countries when the fiat value of cryptocurrencies, in general, was much higher. Back in 2015-2016, it was estimated that more than 70 percent of the SHA-256 hashrate stemmed from China and 70 percent of the hashpower from these Chinese facilities derived from Sichuan. But when the price of BTC and many other coins skyrocketed, large Chinese mining operations trekked to other areas and sought out electric subsidies from local governments.

Chinese Miners Flock to Sichuan for Cheap Electricity During the Wet Season
Sichuan, China, situated at more than 3,000m elevation is famous for its rivers and colorful pools formed by calcite deposits. Many of the rivers and waterways supply hydroelectricity plants with energy and bitcoin mining facilities have operated in the mountainous region for years.

For instance, Chinese journalist Eva Xiao reported in August 2017 how large bitcoin mines were partnering with local Chinese governments for cheaper electricity from the State Grid. The reason for the strategic move was because unlike the dry and wet seasons in Sichuan, government partnerships provide static electrical rates that remain fairly steady. Bitmain did this with the company’s mine in Ordos in Inner Mongolia when it acquired electricity from the State Grid for $0.04 per kWh. Xiao details that in exchange, Bitmain allowed the Ordos mine to be taxed. However, regional reports published on Jan. 21, 2019 state that an influx of Chinese miners has been returning to Sichuan for the wet season. The China-based publication recently explained that during the dry season in Sichuan, hydroelectric costs are three times higher than the wet season.

“This tragedy will seemingly come to an end as soon as the rainy season is expected to come in April,” local reporter Lylian noted. “The 1,419 rivers in the region will soon wake up to propel the roar of 3,267 hydro plants — Numerous bitcoin mines will revive as they will have cheaper and sufficient power supplies.”

The report continued:

In the period of high water, the cost of electricity in Sichuan can be as low as 0.08 yuan ($0.01), while the electricity cost of thermal power in the dry season is 0.28 yuan ($0.04).

Chinese Miners Flock to Sichuan for Cheap Electricity During the Wet Season
Reports also detail that second-hand Antminer S9s are selling for $119 per unit. 

Bitcoin Prices Still Have to Appreciate Before the Halving

Mining operations are also enticed by the cheap hardware costs these days, as lots of mining rig prices have been slashed. Local columnist Chloe Jiang reveals that a second-hand Antminer S9 will set someone back about 800 yuan ($119) per unit. According to the top mining rig manufacturer websites like Bitmain, Ebang, and Canaan, older units are very inexpensive right now. Jiang remarks that cheap mining rigs and $0.01 per kWh electric prices in Sichuan may help miners survive the ‘crypto winter.’

Chinese Miners Flock to Sichuan for Cheap Electricity During the Wet Season
Bitcoin Core (BTC) hashrate increase since Dec. 15, 2018.

The overall hashrate between both of the most dominant SHA-256 networks shows miners seem to be returning in greater number with many of them joining unknown pools. Analysts believe that at current electric prices worldwide and the upcoming reward halving for both networks, the price of BTC and BCH needs to rise to at least double current spot prices in order to maintain profitability.

What do you think about miners returning to Sichuan for cheap electricity? Let us know what you think about this story in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Blockchain.com, and Pixabay. 


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Self-Proclaimed ‘Satoshi’ Responds to Billion-Dollar Bitcoin Lawsuit

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The man who claims to have invented Bitcoin, Craig Wright, is being sued in Florida for roughly $10 billion or 1.1 million BTC. Last December Florida district Judge Beth Bloom denied Wright’s motion to dismiss the billion-dollar lawsuit against him. Now Wright has responded to the complaints and most of his responses assert that he lacks knowledge or information sufficient to answer the allegations.

Also Read: Core Developer’s 300kb Block Proposal Bolstered in Bid to Push Lightning Adoption

Wright Denies Complaints and Lacks Sufficient Knowledge to Respond

Ira Kleiman, the brother of David Kleiman, who some believe may have been Satoshi Nakamoto, is suing Craig Wright because he believes his brother was manipulated and defrauded. In late 2018, Wright’s motion to dismiss the billion-dollar lawsuit against him was denied on most counts. Judge Beth Bloom from Florida granted Wright’s motion to dismiss complaints III and IV. But the self-proclaimed inventor of Bitcoin was forced to answer complaints I, II, and V-IX. Moreover, Judge Bloom explained that the lawsuit involves Florida residents, companies, and assets and the court has a strong interest in adjudicating a case that involves fraud. Following the denied dismissal, Wright had to respond and on Jan. 28, 2019 Wright’s lawyers answered the second amended complaint.

Self-Proclaimed ‘Satoshi’ Responds to Billion-Dollar Bitcoin Lawsuit
Craig Wright is being sued by Ira Kleiman, the brother of David Kleiman, for roughly 1.1 million BTC.

With exception to what is expressly admitted in the document, Wright denied each and every allegation in the second amended complaint. Further, by answering the complaint, Wright’s attorneys from Rivero Mestre LLP say that the defendant “does not admit the accuracy, validity, admissibility, or appropriateness of any of the exhibits to the second amended complaint.” Wright also reserved all rights and objections with respect to the exhibits, and throughout many of his answers he lacked sufficient knowledge to respond.

The majority of responses to the complaints’ numbered paragraphs state:

Dr. Wright lacks knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the allegations.

Barred and Estopped

After denying much of the allegations, Wright’s defense says Ira Kleiman’s claims are basically barred by applicable statutes of limitations. In the fifth affirmative defense, Wright’s lawyers say the Kleimans accepted shares in a corporation from Wright which in turn released his obligations to the rights of David Kleiman. The eight affirmative defense responses explain that the plaintiffs are estopped from asserting their claims of fraud against Wright. Essentially this means the Kleimans were allegedly aware of the Australian Taxation Office investigation and the Estoppel shows they are asserting something contrary to what is implied. Additionally, Wright’s attorney says the alleged oral partnership agreement is barred by the statute of frauds as well. “There was no written partnership agreement between Dr. Wright and David Kleiman and/or W&K Info Defense Research, LLC,” the 36-page court document states.

Self-Proclaimed ‘Satoshi’ Responds to Billion-Dollar Bitcoin Lawsuit
Some people believe David Kleiman may be one of the lost members of the Satoshi Nakamoto group.

Wright’s Recent Memoir: ‘I Was Satoshi’

The news follows a random blog post written by Wright in which he reminisces about the old days when he allegedly created Bitcoin. Throughout the memoirs, the Nchain representative basically claims to be Satoshi. Wright further explains how he hated the Silk Road and disliked Wikileaks before going on to explain how he can sign messages with early public keys associated with Satoshi, but refuses to do so because it is akin to asking to see his bank statement. Moreover, if he did sign, no one would believe him any way, he asserts, and many would just say he stole the keys. “Gavin knows I have the early keys — What does it matter?” Wright concedes.

The post also states:

I am not going to list the people who helped me here, but Bitcoin started because of my ideas. It was my design, and it is my creation. And, making certain that it cannot be subverted by criminals is and remains my duty — I was Satoshi.

Following the post where Wright claims to be the inventor of Bitcoin, the community again dismissed his statements. Many think the fact that he won’t sign early keys is an excuse and they will not believe him until he signs with keys belonging to Nakamoto. Wikileaks did not appreciate Wright’s statements either and referred to him as a “proven serial forger of documents,” which is ironically one of the complaints against Wright in Florida case number 9:18-cv-80176.

What do you think about the Kleiman case against Craig Wright for 1.1 million BTC? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below. 


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Venezuela’s BTC Trading Volumes Hit Record Highs as Crypto Regulations Commence

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As Venezuela begins regulating cryptocurrency, BTC trading volumes in the country hit record highs on several exchanges. Amid fast-growing crypto adoption, peer-to-peer trading platforms such as Localbitcoins and Paxful have reported significant increases in the number of BTC traded in Venezuela.

Also read: Indian Supreme Court Moves Crypto Hearing, Community Calls for Positive Regulations

Record BTC Trading Volumes

Peer-to-peer (P2P) markets that trade cryptocurrencies in Venezuela have recently been showing record volumes. On Localbitcoins, BTC to bolivar trading volume has been growing steadily, with 2,485 coins traded in the week ending Feb. 9, up from 2,004 coins the previous week.

Venezuela’s BTC Trading Volumes Hit Record Highs as Crypto Regulations Commence

Another P2P platform, Paxful, is reporting similar growth. The company told news.Bitcoin.com on Tuesday that BTC trading volume for Venezuela on its platform increased by 74.66 percent in 2018 compared to the previous year, taking into account only successful trades. In addition, the number of trades increased by 118 percent in the same time period, averaging 61,534 transactions monthly.

The platform has 40,309 users in Latin America, 8,817 of which are in Venezuela. There are currently 1,123 active users in the country, with most of them located in the capital city of Caracas, the company revealed. Additionally, Venezuela now accounts for more traffic to Paxful’s website than any other country, at 36.99 percent.

Venezuela’s BTC Trading Volumes Hit Record Highs as Crypto Regulations Commence

Crypto Adoption Accelerating

“Adoption is [growing] really fast” in Venezuela, Indian crypto exchange Instashift with a presence in Venezuela told news.Bitcoin.com on Tuesday. The exchange reported seeing strong demand for BTC in Venezuela earlier this year, ahead of the other 44 countries it also operates in. Marketing officer Jacob Mani elaborated that “People know about cryptocurrency and are very much aware about the developments in the crypto space. Moreover, Venezuelans are very courteous and welcoming about new ideas and possibilities that they have got.” He also noted that “Big stores like Traki are accepting bitcoin.”

Venezuela’s BTC Trading Volumes Hit Record Highs as Crypto Regulations Commence

Crypto Regulations Enter Into Force

The government of Nicolas Maduro recently began regulating the cryptocurrency industry. The decree enacting the country’s crypto regulations containing 63 articles was published in Official Gazette 41.575 at the end of January.

It establishes a comprehensive set of rules for all crypto-related activities in the country and installs the National Superintendency of Crypto Assets and Related Activities (Sunacrip) as the main regulator of the crypto space. The powers given to Sunacrip include the ability to audit all crypto businesses, to set the prices of cryptocurrencies in bolivars, and to legally confiscate mining equipment. In addition, the regulator is building a database of all crypto service providers in the country.

On Feb. 8, Sunacrip further announced that it is now regulating remittances made using cryptocurrencies. The regulator has set a monthly limit and will be collecting commissions of up to 15 percent of the transaction amount.

What do you think of BTC trading volumes hitting record highs in Venezuela? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Core Developer’s 300kb Block Proposal Bolstered in Bid to Push Lightning Adoption

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Bitcoin Core (BTC) developer Luke Dash Jr has once again sparked controversy with his idea to shrink the BTC chain’s block size down to 300kb. It’s not the first time the concept was proposed by the developer, but this time around there’s more support for the idea in order to drive Lightning Network adoption.

Also read: Indian Supreme Court Moves Crypto Hearing, Community Calls for Positive Regulations

Luke Dash Jr Proposes Temporary 300kb Block Soft Fork

Back in January 2017, cryptocurrency developer Luke Dash Jr proposed a Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) requesting the block size to be decreased down to 300kb per block. The proposal was submitted months before network fees skyrocketed to $30-50 per transaction, but at the time the mempool (transaction queue) had already started to fill up. Back then the BIP was brushed off pretty quickly, since the scaling debate was starting to peak and people were already upset about the rising fee market.

Fast forward to today and Dash Jr is again proposing to shrink the block size down to less than one third of the 1mb limit. “This patch would enforce a very simple soft fork, reducing Bitcoin block sizes to ~300kb between Aug 1 and Dec 31 — It demonstrates how one can make a truly temporary soft fork,” the developer explained to on Twitter. “Do not run this in production even if you support UASF.”

Core Developer's 300kb Block Proposal Bolstered in Bid to Push Lightning Adoption

‘Increase Fees and Move Transactions to Lightning’

Three days later Bitrefill’s John Carvalho told his followers Dash Jr’s plan was something he could get behind. “I agree with Luke Dash Jr that the block size should be smaller. I feel more confident to say it now that we have Lightning Network making strides — I’ll run the soft fork,” Carvalho explained. When he was asked what financial incentives smaller blocks offered, Carvalho replied by bolstering higher network fees.

“I could imagine a few,” Carvalho stated. “To increase fees (doesn’t even have to be malicious, could be for survival). To move transactions to Lightning Network (maybe miners realize they can make easier money by increasing fees on L2, under the right conditions). To reduce costs (new network/web conditions).”

Core Developer's 300kb Block Proposal Bolstered in Bid to Push Lightning Adoption

In response to Carvalho’s tweet, the cryptocurrency entrepreneur Vinny Lingham replied to the discussion by saying that he totally agrees with Dash Jr’s plan and has been saying it for a while. “1mb is an arbitrary number and if Bitcoin is going to rely on L2 to scale, then it makes no sense to keep it at 1mb. — Reducing it to 350k as per the research from Luke Dash Jr is practical and can help move transactions to layer 2,” Lingham emphasized. A slew of people on Twitter believed that Lingham’s statement was said in jest, however, and was basically poking fun at the idea. Core Developer's 300kb Block Proposal Bolstered in Bid to Push Lightning Adoption

‘Stop the Madness’

However, not everyone agreed with Dash Jr’s concept and Carvalho’s statements about higher fees to push more Lightning Network adoption. One observer on Twitter commented: “Smaller blocks simply means less transactions on the chain, purposefully hard-coding a lower limit — It doesn’t make any logical sense.” However, Carvalho, Dash Jr, and Bitcoin Core developer Jorge Timón simply dismissed the individual’s statements after he said Lightning Network was “centralized, bloated, and overcomplicated”.

Core Developer's 300kb Block Proposal Bolstered in Bid to Push Lightning Adoption

Whatever the case may be, this time around Dash Jr’s concept to decrease the block size to 300kb has been more fruitful, especially for those pushing for adoption of the Lightning Network. However, Cobra the anonymous owner of Bitcoin.org, wants this discussion to end and has asked the community to “stop the madness.”

“A soft fork to ‘reduce the block size’ is a hard fork in all but name and this will split off from the established consensus, cause massive drama, and damage trust in Bitcoin,” Cobra stated. Once again it seems certain cryptocurrency proponents are all about high onchain fees due to their distrust for miners and the hope that the Lightning Network will work as well as Nakamoto consensus.

What do you think about Luke Dash Jr’s idea to temporarily soft fork bitcoin to decrease the block size to 300kb? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


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