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On Thursday, a letter was issued to parliament by Dutch finance minister, Wopke Hoekstra, to encourage a global approach to cryptocurrency regulation. The main focus of Hoekstra is on new consumer protections and to start it up, he wants to have a dialogue with credit card companies about potentially introducing stronger protections for those people who prefer to buy cryptocurrency with their credit cards.

According to Hoekstra, by the end of 2019, all local exchange platforms, plus, the cryptocurrency regulation and services would deceptively get registered with the government and should be also obeying their customers necessities. The finance minister also proposed some new regulations in the letter, that could also be helpful in protecting the ICOs (initial coin offering) contributors.

Hoekstra highlighted;

“It is being investigated whether investors in ICOs can become just as good protected as investors with a normal IPO or bond issue. The current framework is not sufficient for this.”

In the past, particularly in ICOs, some issues were highlighted by the regulators, making these proposals more noteworthy. Last November, a statement was released by AFM (Authority for Financial Markets) of Netherlands, which is a Dutch version of U.S. SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) and referred the ICO market to a dangerous-cocktail. Linked with these statements, a ban was proposed by Hoekstra that’d forbid marketing of risky financial products to random customers.

Moreover, Hoekstra also promised to work in the European Union with other countries as well and encourage collective research to discover the market’s cross-border nature. Yet, Hoekstra specified that even inside the Netherlands, more work is required for updating the laws of the country to account for cryptocurrencies and more erratic activities around it.


As in the letter Hoekstra wrote;

“The current supervisory framework and instruments are insufficiently tailored to cryptocurrency,”

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How to Protect Your Privacy and Bitcoin Security Online?

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In today’s world, maintaining online privacy and security has become quite a big deal. Despite all the technological advancements, the hackers are still able to find ways to breach the security of internet users – especially those involved in Bitcoin transactions.

Since Bitcoin is the most valuable form of digital currency out there, hackers particularly target those who prefer to store their wealth in the digital realm.

But it’s not only hackers that are stealing your data. Government and non-state actors also spy on your personal information. But don’t worry, there are many steps that one can take to secure his online privacy and the Bitcoin security.

First, we will talk about how to protect your privacy online.

How to Protect Your Bitcoin Online:

Online Bitcoin Security:

Web Browsers That Are Privacy-Centric:

There are very few browsers that put user privacy on top of their priority list. Brave browser, Mozilla’s Firefox and Tor browser are few to name.

Here is a brief idea as to how each of these browsers works:

Brave browser:

  • Blocks ads
  • Blocks tracking applications
  • Uses bitcoins incentives to give users a better experience

Mozilla’s Firefox:

Mozilla Firefox is a great tool if you want extensions that focus on security and confidentiality of a user.

Tor Browser:

One of the top-notch browsers that provide complete anonymity to its users. Some highlights of Tor browser include:

  • Hides IP
  • Obscures the proxies
  • Allows users to surf websites that are not indexed on traditional browsers like Google Chrome.

Use a VPN:

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) changes a user’s IP address and server location. Moreover, they provide re-routing and encryption which provide the users with complete anonymity. As a result, third parties are unable to track the location and interfere with the privacy of a user.

Use Email/Messaging Services That Provide End to End Encryption:

Use privacy-focused email services such as Tutanota, Protonmail, etc. as they provide end to end encryption. These services are extremely useful to communicate with other users without giving away your personal details.

You can also read our guide on the safest Bitcoin wallets to ensure the safety of your Bitcoin assets.

How to Protect Your Bitcoin Online?

Following are the ways that can help you keep your bitcoin safe from a security threat.

Multi-Signature Transactions:

The system requires more than one person and keys to authorize a Bitcoin transaction. It’s a digital signature scheme and protects the cryptocurrency from being spent without informing all the signers.

Cold Storage:

The system involves storing your assets offline. Cold storage helps to keep your bitcoins away from intruders. The cold storage techniques can store online wallets, offline wallets, paper wallets and other forms of protected media.

Backing Up the Information:

Most the privacy and security-focused services use passwords, PINs and secret phrases to gain access. Backing up these details so they won’t be lost is a good idea.

Learn how to backup Bitcoin wallet and other related information here.

Make copies of your security codes, PINs, password and store them in secure, offline location. If you don’t backup the information and, unfortunately, lose your wallet – there is no way to recover the lost assets.

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PayPal vs Bitcoin: Why has PayPal Filed a Patent?

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On 5th March, it’s been reported that a patent has been filed by PayPal in order to speed up cryptocurrency transactions by eradicating the confirmation period of payments. However, it’s been claimed by many Bitcoin experts that this is already possible through the current technologies in the cryptocurrency industry.

Basically, the main purpose of PayPal patent is to improve the whole procedure of settling cryptocurrency payments between both buyers and traders on retail or e-commerce platforms. To avert each transaction from being broadcasted to the public Blockchain, users’ secondary wallets will let the unique private keys of both buyers and sellers to be transferred privately.

The PayPal patent read;

“In order to be sure that the Bitcoin transaction will ultimately result in a transfer of Bitcoins to the payee, the payee must wait until the mining process confirms the transaction before transferring goods and/or services to the payer. In many transaction situations, a 10-minute wait time will be too long for payers and/or payees, and those payers and/or payees will instead choose to perform the transaction using traditional payment methods rather than virtual currency. Issues like this have slowed the adoption of virtual currencies despite their advantages.”

What’s Peter Todd’s Response?

According to a Bitcoin developer, Peter Todd, PayPal is attempting to patent a technology that is already present in the cryptocurrency industry. In 2016, Opendime was created by a former Bitcoin marketplace “Coinkite”, and is a hardware Bitcoin wallet with multi-signature bank-grade security. It lets users transfer Bitcoin with inner private keys, allowing them to utilize Bitcoin like fiat money, such as the US dollar.   However, compared to Ledger and Trezor, Opendime structurally differs from other hardware wallets as it cannot be reused. Opendime is basically a USB stick as it can only be used once and has to be destroyed to use the funds that are stored inside, which allows it to be used as cash.

PayPal’s technology encourages its users to transfer the whole wallet or private key linked with a predefined amount of a cryptocurrency and the procedure of transferring bitcoin payments through Opendime, which is just like PayPal.

The patent explains:

“The systems and methods of the present disclosure practically eliminate the amount of time the payee must wait to be sure they will receive a virtual currency payment in a virtual currency transaction by transferring to the payee private keys that are included in virtual currency wallets that are associated with predefined amounts of virtual currency that equal a payment amount identified in the virtual currency transaction.”

Is It Really Possible for PayPal’s Technology to Improve Cryptocurrency Payments?

PayPal’s technology could let the cryptocurrency payments to be processed between both buyers and traders quickly by eradicating hefty transaction fees only if it’s executed at large commercial scale.

Yeogieottae, which is a major hotel booking platform in South Korea has recently partnered with the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Bithumb, to allow cryptocurrency payments. Even in Japan, the biggest sellers have started to accept Bitcoin payments for a while.

However, on the other hand, a problem could occur while transferring private keys if the settlement occurs in a centralized manner. PayPal patent clearly explained that for carrying out the process of settling payment, it could depend on a payment service provider device as it could lead to a centralized system, managing the transfer of private keys.

Owen Williams revealed the findings of GDPR last week, which disclosed that PayPal shared complex financial information of its consumers with over 600 entities. The centralization of cryptocurrency payments and private keys could direct to susceptibilities and data selling if this technology by PayPal’s can exploit non-custodial wallets and allow both users and traders to endure in full control of their private keys during the whole process.

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Bitcoin Struggles as Ripple Price Drops Once Again!

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Within the past 24 hours, the price of most of the cryptocurrencies has declined significantly in the global market.

Possible Aspects:

Ripple has once again dropped below the $49 billion region and has achieved a monthly low at $1.28. For many bitcoin investors, $10,000 mark was a psychological threshold, but the $1 mark of Ripple is also considered as a significant threshold that has led the price of Ripple to upsurge by 33-fold within few weeks. The market valuation of Ripple could possibly decrease further if the price of XRP or Ripple couldn’t withstand itself above $1. Also, Bitcoin struggles to maintain the gains that it recorded on January 25, although it has shown a 3% decrease in the price and is currently trading at $11,153.

Ripple has a huge following in the South Korean market and the extensive day by day exchanging volumes of XRP on UpBit and Bithumb, two of the country’s major cryptocurrency money exchanging platforms, it is almost impossible that the market valuation of Ripple would fall beneath $40 billion.

Currently, the market cap of Ripple is not as much as half of Ethereum’s. Also, it is not expected that the market cap of Ripple would fall below the current levels unless something unexpected happens within a short period of time.

Ethereum’s native cryptocurrency Ether (with EOS) has recorded the lowest losses from the major cryptocurrencies, demonstrating a minor 2% decrease in market valuation.

The tenth most important and valuable cryptocurrency in the market NEM has experienced a startling 16% decrease in its price. The unexpected drop in the value of NEM was said to be set off by a possible security breach which occurred on a leading Japanese cryptocurrency exchange, CoinCheck.

Local Japanese media released reports on January 26, that all Japanese yen withdrawal and cash outs have been disabled by CoinCheck due to suspicious transactions. Also, some unverified reports as well claimed that $500 million worth of NEM was withdrawn from CoinCheck and it’s still unclear whether it was a group of users or a hacker that stole NEM from the exchange.


The cryptocurrency community is eagerly predicting an official statement from CoinCheck, however, it has not been confirmed yet if the exchange was hacked or not.

An abrupt flow of $500 million from a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange could have caused the market to fall. Many investors have suggested that another reason could be the closing of bitcoin upcoming contracts on CME Group, and institutional investors selling huge amounts of bitcoin to deliberately bring down the currency’s price to cash out short contracts.

Shorting of bitcoin and whales selling the digital currency to cash out short contracts could have persuasively contributed to the decrease in the market cap of bitcoin, and because bitcoin is considered as the reserve currency of the market, it looks clear that the rest of the cryptocurrency market fell with it as well.


US-based residents are looking for tax returns and South Korean investors are anticipating the January 31 cryptocurrency exchange recommencement date; the global cryptocurrency market would probably improve instantly within the month February.

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Bitcoin Mining – Everything You Need To Know Is Here

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The terms “Bitcoin mining” is used to describe the processing and confirmation of Bitcoin payments on the network. In Bitcoin mining, the information is distributed, validated and stored on blockchain – a digital ledger which is used to store the transactions made in cryptocurrency such as bitcoins.

The transaction process of Bitcoin is different from traditional transfers as there are no third parties – merchant accounts, issuing bank, acquiring bank – involved.

Who Can Participate In Bitcoin Mining?

Almost everyone with a regular PC can participate in Bitcoin mining. All you have to do is to run a specialized software and you are good to go. The Bitcoin mining software are compatible with all PCs and operating systems. In addition to running on regular PCs, some companies have developed specialized Bitcoin mining machines that can build blocks and process transactions in a quick and efficient manner.

Find out what our beginner’s guide has to say about how bitcoin works.

How Does Bitcoin Mining Work?

In Bitcoin mining, the participants are given mathematical problems and asked to assemble a block of outstanding transactions by solving those problems. In exchange, the miners get rewards for all of the transactions they process and receive fees for successfully validating those transactions.

In addition to those fees, the miners also receive an additional reward for each block they mine from the bitcoin blockchain.The reward was previously 25 bitcoins but it has now been decreased to 12.5 bitcoins (equivalent to $7,000) which are still pretty high.

Because the reward is so high, the completion of mining is also incredibly tough. Thousands of miners from all across the world compete to assemble the block as quickly as possible.

Here’s a fun fact for you: “The total power of competing for Bitcoin computers is 1000 times higher than the top 500 supercomputers in the world.

Is Bitcoin Mining Harmful for PCs?

A few years back, Bitcoin mining was not so mainstream and no dedicated hardware was built to support it. Moreover, the miners of past used to overuse their systems which often caused damages to PCs. However, the technology has advanced and various manufacturers are developing computers that are specifically designed to support Bitcoin mining; which has made the process safer than ever.

What Are The Benefits Of Bitcoin Mining?

There are several benefits of Bitcoin mining. The ones that top the list are:

  • Bitcoin mining is like creating money from nothing.
  • There is some cool hardware involved such as ASICs, FPGAs, and GPUs and Bitcoin mining gives you the opportunity to play around with them.
  • You compete with others which ultimately helps you create an efficient mining system
  • Bitcoin mining is considered to be less risky because the coins never devalue. in fact, the more people use this currency, the more it appreciates in worth.
  • Bitcoin mining is not a waste of time. It’s actually a hobby that pays something back.

These are some of the facts, benefits, and details of how Bitcoin mining works. The process is quite intriguing and if you are trying to make some extra cash, becoming a Bitcoin miner is never a bad option.

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Bitcoin vs. Ethereum- 2017 Edition

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There are various warriors out there fighting for the cryptocurrency crown, but the lead runners are Bitcoin and Ethereum and both have serious backing. Due to the increase in competition, it is important for investors to understand the similarities and differences between the two.

What is Bitcoin

Bitcoin is the first form of digital currency which was created by Satoshi Nakamoto. Since everything is shown on the public ledger, the blockchain, you can be confident that the transaction is legitimate. Bitcoin offers lower transaction fees than traditional online payment mechanisms and has no interference of banks. Also, it is used to buy things electronically. In that sense, it’s like conventional dollars, euros, or yen, which are also trading digitally at the moment.


What is Ethereum

Ethereum is meant to be much more than a payment system. It is also based on blockchain technology and was introduced to supplement decentralized applications.

It even features smart contracts and the Ethereum Virtual Machine. Firstly, Ethereum’s smart contracts allow contract negotiation and facilitation using an app which provides a decentralized way to verify and enforce them. It is powered by the Ethereum cryptocurrency Ether, which is held in the Ethereum wallet. Their aim is to provide greater security than normal contracts and bring down the associated cost. Also, the Ethereum Virtual Machine helps to create blockchain applications in a much easier and efficient way, enabling people to run any program.


Bitcoin vs. Ethereum:

In Bitcoin blockchain, miners mine to earn bitcoins and two-thirds of all available bitcoins have already been mined. The reward for mining halves about every four years and it’s current value is at 12.5 bitcoins with average block time as 10 minutes. Due to this block time, Bitcoin is suffering from slow transaction speeds thus, vendors and purchasers are choosing to shift.

On the other hand, Ethereum rewards its miners with ethers, which is a kind of token that fuels the network. You earn 5 ethers given for each block and unlike Bitcoin, Ethereum’s block time is 12 seconds. Ethereum’s GHOST protocol enables quick block time. The faster the block time, the quicker the confirmations. However, there are also more orphaned blocks. Ethereum gives application developers the opportunity to create all sorts of applications that carry out their own set of operations, which have never been seen before. While smart contracts are set up to be unchanging and trustworthy, they are still ultimately a creation of humans who are capable of error.

Another major difference is the supply of Bitcoin, which is exceedingly low, with just 16.24 million left from 21 million. Whereas, Ethereum has over 89,752,192 coins currently existing. This is an advantage for Ethereum since Bitcoin might be left behind due to its low supply.

Furthermore, both Ethereum and bitcoin use different hashing algorithms. While Bitcoin uses SHA-256 algorithm that produces a number in hexadecimal format, Ethereum uses Ethash algorithm.

Here’s a table representing all the differences between Bitcoin and Ethereum:


The future of Bitcoin and Ether

As we glance into the future, it’s hard to get a grip on who exactly is going to be on top of the chain. Over the years, Bitcoin has become more and more popular, there has been a steady increase in volume since the beginning of 2017. It now represents a technological breakthrough that has the potential to change the way the world banks. Now standing on $2209, for the first time in history, surpassing even the price of gold.

However, as high as Bitcoin pushes, it is going to drag Ethereum with it as well, which is now trading at $175. While the future of Ether is more uncertain than the future of Bitcoin, the potential gains are also much greater.

Both digital currencies continue to push all-time highs for almost every available metric and show no or very little signs of slowing down.

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