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Coinbase stated it would not support BCC or it's blockchain or allow withdraws of BCC. It stated no plans to support BCC trading and gave ample notice of all of the above. Over the course of several days leading up to August 1st, Coinbase drug it's user base through a muddy ditch of pins and needles as transactions painstakingly took upwards of 24 to 48 hours in preparation for the event that was the birth of the new altcoin, Bitcoin Cash.

Well today they took it all back and said they'll support BCC in some manner. Users will be able to withdraw BCC and their balances will be in tact after all.

Notably there was no "April Fool's" subsequently following the email blast on Thursday when they made this announcement.

There's a Catch

Sounds just peachy doesn't it? Well it's not. Users won't be able to access their BCC, much less do anything with it until next year. The current estimate being January 2018. 

Seriously?

What's so damn hard about letting folks withdraw their coin? Well lots of things. 

Coinbase would had to have had 100% of the coin they have custody over in individually allocated wallets for each amount per customer.

It's very unlikely this is the case and even if it was, they then would need to shove allot of code in rather quickly to support the new blockchain for BCC or handout the private keys for BCC, which would just so happen be the keys for bitcoin and suddenly you have a regulatory and security headache.

They also have the 8MB blocks to worry about as they are susceptible to network attacks.

All things that lean heavily towards a "not gonna happen" and for the most part nobody cared. Until BCC hit $700 before going stale. Then everybody had an opinion of the Coinbase decision and claimed "stupid" about how to withdraw fund from Coinbase to get BCC. Even a lawsuit was threatened and then suddenly ... Coinbase has everyone's BCC, everything is fine. You just have to wait

Yeah ... wait. Wait until BCC is ultimately worthless in 2018 and then Coinbase will fork it over. It sure will be awfully convenient for Coinbase if that value drops and BCC isn't worth $700 in January 2018.

That said, you can't blame Coinbase for being careful and not taking an unnecessary risk just because a handful of people want something for nothing with a BCC money-grab. This is one of those times I would actually have to agree with Coinbase. 

However, not on the "wait until Jan 2018" part ... that part is just mean.




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Tomorrow on August 1st, there will be a hard fork in the bitcoin blockchain code that will create a new virtual currency called "Bitcoin Cash". This coming after the news of the mining community and bitcoin developers finally reaching some sort common ground when recently signalling for Segwit (segregated witness) which prunes old useless data from the blockchain and increases the blocksize to 2MB.

Bitcoin Cash increases the blocksize to an alarming 8MB. Fortunately that will be the BCC blockchain and not the bitcoin blockchain.

Why Is Bitcoin Cash Happening?

Despite finally arriving at a consensus for block size relief with Segwit, a portion of the community still didn't like it and are going to force a hard fork instead of promoting its solution in an effort to gain consensus. 

Typically when a solution, regardless of support for it, is present in what is called a BIP or bitcoin improvement proposal in the form of an IBIP, SBIP, or PBIP. Depending on the level of support and/or response from the community the proposal can be implemented by it's development team and presented to the industry for consensus. This is done by making the proposals implementation backwards compatible while consensus us reached. If consensus is reached, most agree that a 75% or better consensus constitutes consensus, then a date is further solidified to enable the code supporting the BIP. If activated, that portion of the code can make older versions of the bitcoin software obsolete and why such a high consensus is required.

Once the BIP is activated and running in the real world, it is considered the new code base and it's blockchain is the new ledger of record. Older versions of the bitcoin software may be incompatible at this point and may not work in full or at all. 

It's a daunting process that can require a great deal of debate as we have seen with the blocksize debate.

That said, in cases where the majority of support has shifted to another BIP and not the BIP an given development team was hoping for, that team can force a hard fork by activating their solution anyway vie UAHF (User Activated Hard Fork). This is the case with Bitcoin Cash which currently does not have consensus but wants their solution "out there" anyway.

With UAHF a couple things happen. First, the new solution becomes an Altcoin, in this case BCC (Bitcin Cash) and since the hard fork basically is a "version" of it's intended predecessor, users holding assets on the blockchain it is intended to replace end up with assets on both the original chain and the new chain.

We saw this with Ethereum last year, although backwards where the developers of Ethereum forced a hard fork claiming the new solution was the Ethereum network while the original chain became labeled Ethereum Classic and it's Ether became an Altcoin of the new Ethereum's Ether. However the truth is that Ethereum Classic is the original chain and there was a great deal of controversy surrounding that fork and it's consensus since it's purpose was primarily to steal back stolen coins.

So What is Going to Happen?

At midnight August 31st Bitcoin cash will become operation with hash power being it supporting it's blockchain. If you have any bitcoin stored on the blockchain, you will have BCC stored on the BCC blockchain. It's estimated value to begin will be something about 10% of bitcoins but watch for the massive dump as folks flock to dump BCC for a chance at "free money". From that point forward there will be the bitcoin network (the blockchain) as there always has been and there will be a new network for Bitcoin Cash which will be a new virtual currency (altcoin) that may or may not live long enough to see tomorrow. 

To avoid any problems many exchanges such as GDAX will be shutting down during the fork an halting all trading and transfers that could be inadvertently caught up in the mess and most large exchanges will not be supporting BCC. Some however, such as Kraken will be supporting the new virtual currency just as Ether Class was, and still is, supported.

That's about it, the process should be rather uneventful although look for some attempted fraudulent activity on the new network as well as the massive "dump" to complete the "pump" of recent days to unite as a pair. BCC should debut at it's highest value right after the fork. How long it will hold that value is yet to be seen but most seem to believe that past the initial "dump" the interest for Bitcoin Cash is non-existent. 

How Do I Get My BCC?

There's no magic process to be allotted any amount of BCC and it's possible you will not have the same amount of BCC as expected based on bitcoin's blockchain. Quite simply put you need only the private key of the wallet(s) holding your bitcoin. It will access the BCC on the BCC blockchain and you BCC will be in that copied wallet.

If you store bitcoin online with service such as Coinbase, you'll need to withdraw your bitcoin into a wallet you control and have access to the private key for. Coinbase, and many other online wallets will not be implementing any support for BCC and as a result there will be no way to obtain the equivalent value in BCC since you do not hold the private key of those service wallets.

To Hodl or Not To Hodl?

So should one hold BCC or sell? Those in support of BCC would like the world to get rid of bitcoin and opt for Bitcoin Cash (BCC), a common pitch among Altcoins on the planet. In reality, BCC doesn't appear to have much, if any, support long term and like most other Altcoins, it would likely need bitcoin in tact for survival.

For those reasons, the safest bet may be to dump-and-run as fast as you can since the price of BCC when it debuts is likely to plummet after a short rise in value. Long term it may or may not be viable and it certainly is going to be messy and a bit unknown as far as security and stability.

The danger in opening blocks to 8MB is also a concern. If bitcoin were to do this tomorrow, it could potentially bring the blockchain to a screeching halt as attacks against the network could overwhelm the blockchain with useless transactions and SPAM. This is the reason the 1MB limitation is in place to prevent in the 1st place and why scaling it slowly is the currently preferred approach that did reach consensus.

True Hard Fork?

Technically, this isn't really a true "hard fork". There have been arguably two hard forks in history, some say only 1 while others claim there never has been a hard fork. One being in 2012 which went in after two years of advanced notice and the other in support of BIP-50 however pre-BIP-50 clients were reportedly operational past the fork which would categorize that fork as soft.

Typically an accepted "hard-fork" would promote the new chain as the continuation of the original giving the support as in full consensus as was with Segwit recently. In this case bitcoin currently will continue to be bitcoin on August 2nd with no change at all. There will just be a new virtual currency called Bitcoin Cash that will have nothing to do with bitcoin at all other than the copied balances from the original network and what folks are hoping to cash-on with the "free-money" grasp.

There's nothing wrong with that really, holders aren't the ones doing this and if this gives them a bonus then so be it.

Since bitcoin will remain bitcoin, this isn't really hard-fork for bitcoin, it's a hard-fork creating another token.

What You Need To Do 

If you don't care about Bitcoin Cash then you don't need to do anything at all. Life will continue as normal tomorrow and beyond.

If you do want BCC, you'll need your private keys and if you don't have bitcoin stored in a wallet you have control over then you likely don't have your private keys, so withdraw the bitcoin ASAP and put the value in a wallet you control such as Electrum or bitcoin core itself.

You'll need you private keys tomorrow if you plan to make a cash-grab.

Another note, Kraken and a few other smaller exchanges plan to support BCC trading, so you'll need accounts there because most of the larger exchanges will not be supporting BCC.

If you get stuck or need some help, you can always contact us at press@dinbits.com and we'll be happy to lend a hand.

Get on it!





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Try sending any bitcoin from Coinbase over the weekend? You are likely still waiting for it. Coinbase posted an announcement on their status website saying there are delays due to processing high volumes. Then they say exactly how long. 12+ hours and note that + sign because they mean it.

You know how it goes, you're sending some friendly bitcoin over to your spending wallet from Coinbase having just purchased a fresh batch. You're eager for it while it still has that new bitcoin smell. You pony up and shoot it over only to see "Pending" when you check back after a few minutes.

Of course you've already sent this. You're committed now. Thus, you look and see if there are any issues when you see it. 

DELAY!

Specifically:

Bitcoin Transaction Delays

We're currently working through a backlog of Bitcoin withdrawals. Recent or new outbound BTC transactions may remain pending longer than expected

WTF?? This is information you could have used BEFORE you sent the coin. 

Also, WTF? 12+ hours, I mean what the hell are they doing? Counting every Satoshi they ever sold? Sending each transaction 1 by 1 in it's own block? Perhaps they are adding up the cost and amount for their round X funding.

Who knows, but 12+ is just ridiculous because guess what, that just to BROADCAST the transaction. You still may wait another 10 hours for the blockchain to decide to do its thing on top of that. 

We send a transaction at approximately 6PM yesterday, another at 7PM, and a 3rd around 3AM. In about 6 hours the 7PM launch had arrived. No sign of 6PM, no sign of 3AM. So clearly there is absolutely no order in which these things are going out. 

Coinbase now has a big sign hanging above the send button:


Yeah "may be delayed" ... trust me, don't make any fucking plans.





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Bitstamp has announced their partnership with Swissquote, an apparent leader in Swiss online banking, to provide "full-stack services" to new trading pairs involving bitcoin now offered by Swissquote.

Swissquote launched offering of pairs XBT/EUR and XBT/USD, bitcoin paired with the Euro and Dollar respectively, today with Bitstamp providing the back-end support to that offering under the partnership.

This marks another digital currency and traditional financial industry unity where there have been very few. Coinbase hooked up with USAA Bank for dual account balances through their mobile portal and BitPay provided WB21 bank with it's bitcoin funding solution . Both companies have also partnered with traditional financial institutions for their individual card offerings (Shift and the Bitpay Card) and they both worked with Paypal (but we won't hold that against them).

With the exception of a few others and funding such as BBVA's large investment in Coinbase, there hasn't been much else in the way of significant partnerships.

Swissquote is also hardly a "traditional financial" entity either, it's primarily an online establishment and presence.

Bitstamp had this to say:

"Bitstamp is honoured to be working with such a respected name in the financial world. Our partnership with Swissquote clearly shows that our efforts to increase compliance and regulation in the Bitcoin industry are continuing to bear fruit. With bitcoin now available in Swissquote customers’ domestic trading environment, this news means we are well on the way to achieving our long-term goal – the full integration of bitcoin with traditional financial services."

Clearly not a terrible occurrence and seeing a financial institution that doesn't hate bitcoin or at least pretend not to doesn't completely suck either. Other than stealing its technology in hopes of captial gain, the traditional establishments haven't looked at much of anything in this industry in a positive light.

You can read more on the announcement on Bitstamp's website.





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The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has granted LedgerX its registration as a swap execution facility (SEF). 

An SEF is basically a platform for swap trading that provides pre-trade information (like bid/ask) and a mechanism for executing transactions among traders. The CFTC announced uesterday:

"The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today that it has issued an Order of Registration to LedgerX LLC (LedgerX), granting it registration status with the CFTC as a Swap Execution Facility (SEF). LedgerX is a limited liability company registered in Delaware with its primary place of business in New York, NY." - CFTC

The CFTC is no stranger to LedgerX as CEO Paul Chao was appointed to the CFTC’s Technology Advisory Committee (TAC) last year in January (2016). This grant solidifies the 2015 CFTC decision to grant LedgerX a temporary approval to operate as a SEF in 2015. 

LedgerX, which tags itself as a "An Institutional Trading and Clearing Platform",must now focus on adhering to its submissions in support of its application. 

"LedgerX also must comply with all representations and submissions made by it in support of its application for registration as a SEF, including, but not limited to, its representations that it will not list an intended to be cleared swap until it has a clearing agreement with a derivatives clearing organization registered under Section 5b of the CEA and it will not list a swap that is not intended to be cleared until it submits to the CFTC revisions of its rulebook and other pertinent registration materials, pursuant to the provisions of Part 40 of the CFTC’s regulations, to provide for the execution of uncleared swaps."

You can read the entire announcement on the CFTC's website.




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You'd think with all of the recent arrests and indictments, those selling bitcoin in a "flying under the radar" capacity might have taken notice and made some adjustments to their business models. 

Apparently not the case, two more men have been indicted, and one arrested, for selling bitcoin. Specifically, Thomas Mario Costanzo and Peter Nathan Steinmetz have both been charged with:

  1. Conspiracy to Operate and Unlicensed Money Transmitting Business
  2. Operating Unlicensed Money Transmitting Business; and,
  3. Money Laundering

Among other counts.

The last of the transactions that led to the arrest were as recent as April 2017. During February and March, the Coin.MX trial was ongoing leading to a guilty verdict in March for the exact same thing these two are charged with. 

In all fairness it was predominantly May that brought the bulk of the P2P trading arrest disclosures (to the public, and note there were several in 2016 as well) and these guys started this back in 2013 so it's 3.5 years in the making.

Pretty much the same story we've heard, however the new twist on this one is that there were transactions as recent as a couple months ago.

Overall, the indictment states that the two men operated between 2013 to 2017 taking in over $160,000 from undercover agents in exchange for bitcoin.

Counting Counts 

Count 1: Conspiracy to Operate and Unlicensed Money Transmitting Business

Count 2: Operating a Money Transmitting Business
Count 2 also included (C) the allegation that the men knew the funds in which they exchanged were proceeds from illegal activity.


Count 3: Money Laundering/Structuring
Count 3 states that the men intentionally avoided BSA reporting. Any business conducting cash transactions that exceed $10,000 are supposed to file FinCEN form 8300, any attempt to avoid or flat out avoiding the report is viewed as money laundering. I guess nobody told them that if they wanted less reporting, they should register with FinCEN?

Registered entities such an Money Services Businesses file a smaller more streamlined report 104 and deal with aggregates of only 24 hours. (regular businesses or individuals can be required to aggregate for up to 12 months).

This count was in the amount of $3000

Count 4: Operating a Money Transmitting Business/Money Laundering - $13,000
Count 5: Operating/Laundering - $13,000
Count 6: Operating/Laundering - $30,000
Count 7: Operating/Laundering - $107,000

Count 8: Unrelated Ammunition and Marijuana charge against Costanzo only.

$166,000 in trades setup by the government. Where do these guys get that kind of jack to just be tossing around? Oh yeah, civil forfeiture and tax payers.

So in a nutshell, these guys paid to have themselves setup and provided funds for the next victims of HSI to setup.

One thing to note however, it was "virtual currencies" used to explain the allegations in the indictment and not bitcoin specifically.


Let the Games Begin

This one is just getting started as these men were just indicted Friday and it appears as if only Steinmetz has been arrested, however, we can eventually expect to likely see a couple more plea bargains rather than trials. 

One thing to be cognizant of is the apparent bag of nails the federal government has waiting for Costanzo and Steinmetz once they are near the wall. Unlike other recent cases such as Jason Klein where the single charge was backed up with an aggregated sum supporting the charges. This indictment has then itemized as different counts. This is a big deal because the law allows a equal penalty for each count in that they can be fined up to $5000 per day of operation that they can prove which means they could face up to $25,000 in fines in addition to 5 years in prison.

The two men traded on the localbitcoins.com platform under the username "Morpheus Titania" (aka: Costanzo). Steinmetz went by the user "Amedio" but it's not apparent if he had a localbitcoins account.

Dropping like ... flies.





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Bitpay has announced it's release of it's mobile wallet for Windows Phone (Windows 10).

It's hard to fathom, but Windows is actually one of the most secure mobile platforms available on the market and the #1 most secure of the 3 major platforms. It beats both iOS and Android in this department so naturally when storing something like bitcoins on your phone, Windows make an excellent choice.

The problem is that there are few to less than few bitcoin wallets available for Win10 and even fewer from a well known industry organization that can be trusted.

Bitpay solves this problem with it's bitcoin wallet for Windows Phone.

Microsoft and Blockchain

Microsoft has surprisingly been one of the most useful contributor to the blockchain technology and virtual currency industry growth, specifically bitcoin and Ethereum. It introduced it's BAAS program for it's Azure platform of which Bitpay's bitcore is a part of it's focus thus far has been proving useful tools for the industry. It also brought in bitcoin as a payment method for its Xbox platform and is currently working on several initiatives regarding blockchain.

Microsoft implemented Bitpay for it's Xbox payments.

Of the tech giants, Apple has done almost nothing in the space other than finally make up it's mind on allowing bitcoin related apps on it's app store and just before Circle decided it had made enough money off the industry to go do something else, it brought it's Circle app to the App store. For a few minutes you were able to buy, send, and receive bitcoin from the Circle app.

IBM has manage to do even less by taking the technology and going backwards in it's release of a cloudware version of a tokenless platform that can't even be recognized for anything more than a database running in their data-center. 

Bitpay Wallet

One fantastic thing abut the Bitpay wallet is it's integration with the Bitpay Visa debit card. The Bitpay wallet makes it easy to add bitcoin value to the debit card without waiting on blockchain confirmations. Now Windows Phone users will  have this functionality available as well.

You can read more about the announcement on the Bitpay blog.




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 The Unicode Consortium has released version 10.0.0  which introduces  Unicode 10 introduces 56 new emoji, 8,518 characters, and four new scripts. One of which is the bitcoin currency symbol now available as a standard character.

Over the years there have been many arguments, ideas, and websites dedicated to pushing an official version. The two most prominent being the current standard most of us are familiar with or the lower lined B, while many people also use the Thai currency symbol due to the previous absence of a bitcoin symbol.
The prevailing symbol is now Unicode U+20BF, , as of June 20th, 2017.


According to Unicode, Inc. bitcoin's symbol was an "important" addition as stated in the press release regarding the new version. The coding can be found on page 2 of the U020A specifications (see below).




The effort was lead by Ken Shirrif and submitted way back in October of 2015 and gained approval in November of that same year, however, it's taken over a year and a half to come to fruition of the much anticipated symbol.



Obviously most folks will continue to see symbols such as ▯ or � until software systems and operating systems release support for Unicode 10.0 but considering the majority of the major players in that space are part of the Unicode Consortium, that should take to long. Members include Adobe, Apple, Google, Facebook, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, and Symantec to name a few.  

So get the bitcoin text and twitter messages ready, but you'll still have to cut and paste or use keyboard combinations since a bitcoin "key" is unlikely for hardware any time soon.




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Can Coin, if you haven't heard, is a new peer to peer exchange that utilizes PGP security, multisig escrow and currently supports the US and Canada markets, with expansion plans in the future. The OTC market is larger than that of professional exchanges, and CanCoin is designed to fill the gap between the User, the P2P trader and security and privacy features theoretically not in play on Localbitcoins.

The key difference is a focus on multi-sig wallet escrow, and a comparatively advanced, but user friendly interface. Founded by Ty and Shawn Butchart, it's out of Beta now and we found it more akin to Paxful than Localbitcoins.

...and this user is finding it really has ease of use going for it..


User Interface

The user interface is, we would say, the most modern of all the currently available platforms, and it’s pretty damned sleek.  It’s available on Windows and Android (tested on Windows). It’s easy to read and setup is step by step to generate your wallet keys and mnemonic.


The trade interface is easy to use, and you can enable 2FA. It’s been set up quite securely. Creating a new ad to sell is simple, straightforward, and easy to do. Same goes for buying. 


As far as available traders, many of the names on the site are recognizable and speak to the site’s success in creating trader traffic. Many are well known pro-traders already on Paxful and Localbitcoins, and it’s quite user friendly. We were expecting to find negative reviews or some less than favorable feedback, but what the site has so far is working well.

It’s lacking markets outside of the US and Canada, and we get the impression it still has a way to go, but could go very far given some time. Generation of private and public keys for your wallet and enabling 2FA is simple to do. The sites developers have taken user privacy seriously, but managed not to sacrifice usability to do so.

Documentation is not really required to create an account, it’s quick, easy to use, and self explanatory. 

Score: 3.5 ☆☆




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We have come full circle. New Hampshire used to be a "gray area" before December of 2015 when we discovered a sneaky bill had slipped under the noses of free-stater's that prohibited organizations from selling bitcoin on January 1st, 2016 in New Hampshire or to its residents.

Fast forward a year later and copious events in-between and New Hampshire passed bill HB-436 exempting bitcoin businesses from the requirement of obtaining a money transmitters license from the state to sell bitcoin.

Unless, that is, they are actually transmitting money as a business, which nobody selling bitcoin thinks they are doing as a business so this is a great fit!

New Hampshire Governor Sununu signed the bill on June 1st and it goes into affect on August 1st, 2017. Two months. 60 days. That's all it will be before New Hampshire has full redemption and will once again be a bitcoin friendly jurisdiction again.

Here that date is again: August 1st, 2017 

This just goes to show that if you make some noise, those behind a reasonable cause, and present a good argument, lawmakers will listen and take it under consideration.

We are pleased to report this and overwhelmingly satisfied with the outcome, after all ... we started allot of that noise.

Congratulations New Hampshire. Well done.





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