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An opinion piece was recently published, in which the finance minister of France, Bruno Le Maire exposed that the country is planning to create a legal framework for ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) in an attempt to become one of the most leading ICO hubs and to attract the crypto startups as well. The opinion piece was published on “Numerama,” which is a French website. In that opinion piece, Le Maire stated that he asked Jean-Pierre Landau (ex-central bank representative), to draft a proposal for a statutory framework on cryptos.

crypto startups

Why was taskforce chosen by Jean-Pierre Landau?

Jean-Pierre Landau is basically known for his fabled nickname “Monsieur Bitcoin,” and was selected to head a cryptocurrency task-force last month in France. The task-force is accountable for recommending guidelines and strategies for the development of regulations, according to a report.

Jean-Pierre Landau said:

“France has every interest in becoming the first major financial centre to propose an ad hoc legislative framework for companies making an initial coin offering.”

Action Plan Revealed

Moreover, Le Maire also revealed that an action plan will be presented to the government of France within few weeks and will intend to see the French market regulator AMF (Autorité des marches financiers) having the opportunity to sanction companies in order to raise funds through ICOs, on condition that they respect the particular standards that are set for protecting stakeholders. So, it’s visible that ICO regulation is current plan of French Minister, Bruno Le Maire.

Le Maire also proclaimed that the startups in the country will be offered opportunities by the blockchain technology, as they will be capable of raising funds just by issuing tokens.

Bruno Le Maire’s Statement:

According to Le Maire:

“A revolution is underway, of which bitcoin was only the precursor. The blockchain will offer new opportunities to our startups, for example with the Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) that will allow them to raise funds through ‘tokens (…)This promises to create a network of confidence without intermediaries offers increased traceability and will boost economic efficiency.”

France has a tradition of financial novelty, and according to Lee Maire, its new ambition is to enter the 21st century’s finance world by ensuring every participant, the required security for their improvement. Le Maire also wrote in the article that France shouldn’t lose out on the blockchain innovation.

France, along with Germany, remarkably gathered for discussing cryptocurrencies at G20. The summit was held in Buenos Aires, in which Argentina Le Maire highlighted how imperative blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies are. The G20 communique showed a curb on cryptocurrencies, however, regulation proposals are set to be originated within three months.

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What Is Bitcoin Hard Fork? The Most Heated Bitcoin Topic Explained!

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To begin with, Bitcoin has been the talk of every news channel, tabloid, website, etc. for a long while now. It’s increasing popularity might’ve caused a little problem for the network. Bitcoin is in a messy situation right now and something needs to be done. Fortunately, two possible solutions have been proposed as well, but only one can exist.

 

bitcoin hard fork

 

What’s The Issue?

In simple words, Bitcoin is unable to withstand the number of transactions taking place on the network.

The technical explanation is that the 1MB block size limit which is programmed into the system has become a problem and is causing delays in the processing of transactions. Basically, a purchase can take from a few minutes to hours to confirm.

Two techniques were proposed, which result in two different solutions: Bitcoin Unlimited, and Segregated Witness. They’re both proposed software updates to the Bitcoin network with the aim to completely change the way Bitcoin functions.

Obviously, the two can’t coexist, that would “fork” the Bitcoin network – splitting it into two different digital currencies.

A fork is known as a software update. Basically, updating a program from an old version to a new one.

Hard Fork:

It is a compulsory software update that is required in order for the program to function.  It can be implemented to fix bug errors or any security issues present in the older version of the software. Also, a hard fork is irreversible.

The “hard fork” will split the blockchain, leading to the introduction of a new chain of transactions branching from the original one.

Bitcoin Unlimited:

Starting off with Bitcoin Unlimited, this proposal is favored majorly by Bitcoin miners. To understand this, you must know the concept of Bitcoin mining. Bitcoin miners use specified powerful computers to solve complex mathematical algorithms in order to verify a transaction and be rewarded with newly issued bitcoins.

We are aware that there is a built-in block size limit of 1MB in the Bitcoin network, however, BU gives miners the permission to vote on increasing the block size whenever they want. This gives them control of the Bitcoin network, due to which they’re favored by miners.

Segregated Witness:

On the other hand, SegWit is being voted by many Bitcoin enthusiasts and developers. Their aim is to optimize the Bitcoin coding in a way that allows them to decrease the transaction size and increase the transaction volume, all while sticking to the 1MB block limit. They suggest the use of a soft fork.

A soft fork is a software update that lets the network to adapt to the new functionalities and features implemented. The update doesn’t interfere with the existing software and the older version will still be usable.

Who Will Be The Winner?

Aha! Too bad we can’t answer this question because half the community goes for SegWit and the other half for BU. There’s not really much we can do, just voice out our opinion and educate others with whatever we learn and maybe help them come up with opinions of their own.

We’ll just have to patiently wait and watch how this turns out.

I’d like to point out that I have a very limited technical knowledge and only know my way around a few technical terminologies. This post is a compilation of weeks of research that I’ve put together myself. So, if you do find any errors, do let me know in the comment section below and I’ll be sure to check back on them.

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Why were Three Anonymity-Focused Coins dropped by Coincheck?

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Coincheck is a bitcoin exchange service rather referred to as a digital wallet. Headquarter of Coincheck is situated in Tokyo, Japan. It was founded by Koichiro Wada and Yusuke Otsuka. It operates bitcoin transaction and storage in some countries worldwide.

The hacking incident

In January 2018, Coincheck was hacked of approximately 500 million NEM tokens. As a result of which the Financial Services Agency took notice and ordered Coincheck to improve its security practices. Many people were surprised that why did Financial Service Agency not ordered Coincheck to shut down all its activities until this issue was resolved. Later, Coincheck announced that it would compensate and repay all the users affected by this fraud.

Effects of this fraud on NEM

bitcoin transaction

NEM is considered to be the 7th largest cryptocurrency in the world. It had a market cap of nearly 2 billion in October last year. However, NEM development team refused to conduct a hard check as the above-mentioned fraud was caused due to lack of security measures of Coincheck. Instead, NEM has announced to create an automated tagging system which will follow the money and tag any account that receives infected money of any sort.

Aftermaths of the hacking incident

Japanese crypto exchange Coincheck has announced that it will stop dealing in Monero, Dash, and ZCash as a result of the fraud that took place in January, this year. 534-million-dollar worth of NEM was stolen from the exchange as a result of that fraud. According to a note published in The Japan Times, Coincheck is also considering to accept the transfer of the currencies from verified Coincheck accounts only. That is why the exchange resumed activities of certain currencies on March 12. On the other hand, it also has been reported that the exchange has refunded 260,000 affected customers over 440 million dollars from its own funds.

It was also reported by a Japanese cyber security expert that about half of the NEM stolen in the above-mentioned hack was converted into different cryptocurrencies and was allegedly being used for money laundering purposes. The NEM Foundation had reported that the stolen NEM was traced to be moved to different wallet addresses at the end of January.

Some of the NEM stolen from Coincheck was reported to be been found at a crypto exchange in Canada, as well as some portion of that amount was found at the Japanese NEM exchange Zaif.

The Japan Times also stated that Coincheck’s decision to stop handling the three cryptocurrencies Monero, Dash, and ZCash was due to a response to the FSA’s improvement notice.

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Not sure How to buy Cryptocurrencies?

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Recently, there were reports of banks restricting credit card acquisitions of cryptocurrencies, however, there are still many options available which can be used for buying cryptocurrencies. There’s always a risk in investment and trading move, so, always do your own little research when making a decision.

Coinbase is a well-known interface where you can easily buy crypto with fiat money. Users only have to create an account and verify their identity on Coinbase, then they can easily buy whatever they want with their debit card.

Another sister company of Coinbase is GDAX, which gives users an idea of how these cryptocurrency exchanges are actually working. It describes an instinctive interface with trade history, charting tools and real-time order books. All of these tools ensure traders that they’re getting the most out of their trade.

how to buy cryptocurrencies

Another popular exchange is Bitfinex. Its website claims that it’s the most progressive cryptocurrency trading platform in the world and has many advanced charting tools. Its website has an app, which is available for both iPhone and Android users. It offers three features:

  • Exchange trading
  • Margin trading
  • Margin funding

You can easily find places to buy cryptocurrency with fiat money, however, Robinhood is unique in its zero-fee approach. Their main goal is to provide an easier platform for people to buy cryptocurrency. This trading app lets users buy cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum right from their phone without any trading fee.

Can you buy all cryptocurrencies with fiat money?

At this time, cryptocurrencies that have fiat/crypto-pairs are:

  • Bitcoin
  • Bitcoin Cash
  • Ethereum
  • Litecoin
  • Ripple

Coinbase offers following cryptocurrencies which users can buy with fiat debit cards:

  • Bitcoin
  • Ethereum
  • Litecoin
  • Bitcoin Cash

Users will have to send their BCH, BTC, ETH, or LTC to an exchange to get involved with other altcoins.

How to buy Bitcoin without involving exchanges?

Nowadays, Bitcoin ATMs are becoming very popular. There are almost 2,393 Bitcoin ATM machines worldwide, and with these machines, users can buy Bitcoin by using fiat currency and can even sell Bitcoin to withdraw fiat money. These devices help traders by not having them to deal with the trading part of crypto and are very much convenient.

Recently, Cointelegraph has partnered up with Simplex and now it offers a convenient way of buying Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Bitcoin Cash. Simplex accepts most credit cards and some debit/prepaid cards as well.

How to buy crypto with Cash?

It’s quite simple to buy Bitcoin with cash. If you know anyone who wants to sell BTC, there are decentralized, p2p sites where you can meet people who are interested in buying Bitcoin. LocalBitcoins is currently working worldwide as an advertising community board and helping its users to agree on a price and so that later, they can meet in person to trade. The exchange process is time-consuming and it’s not much reliable, as it involves strangers. But it’s still very popular and its users have great reviews about it.

Decentralized Exchanges

DEX isn’t very popular but it’s a trust-less AI system that connects traders online. The money goes from the user’s wallet to an escrow in a centralized exchange, and then to the other user in the trade. Funds that are kept in centralized exchanges are stored in wallets, which are owned by the company. User funds are stored in hardware wallets in a DEX, on each user’s computer. This smart contract helps in keeping trust between the users, who are trading the money. Altcoin.io is also working really hard to make a simple interface to exchange crypto quickly and the team became famous back in October after it successfully completed the first-ever BTC-ETH atomic swap.

It’s quite easy to buy cryptocurrencies now, and we’ll probably see some massive improvements this year, for both centralized and decentralized exchanges. The main focus of centralized exchanges will be; usability, scaling and adding new tokens, while decentralized exchanges will focus on getting their product out, involving the present crypto community.

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Bitcoin in Business – What Role Bitcoin May Play in B2B Community

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What Role Bitcoin May Play in B2B Community

Since the introduction in 2009, Bitcoin has been on an incredible rise. The value is always going up, and so is the speculation about BTC’s future.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin had already gone past the $2500 mark – and the trend is still expected to continue. Incredible! Isn’t it?

Considering bitcoin’s popularity, it is clear as rain that this currency is surely going to play a huge role in the B2B (Business to Business) community in future. However, the question is; what role will it play and how will bitcoin affect the B2B community worldwide?

Anyone with the slightest of the knowledge of business community would know that the volume of B2B transactions is way too higher than the volume of P2P (Person to Person) transactions.

Moreover, bitcoin in business has all the potential and tech to replace traditional payment systems – wire transfer being the most common one. In terms of speed, wire transfer is quite slow. The transfer between two countries may take up to a week; which, in business terms, is a waste.

Another traditional payment method used in the business community is ACH (Automated Clearing House). The method is cheaper but slower than the wire transfer, so it needs replacing too.

On the other hand, the client, as well as the merchant prefer instant Bitcoin payments and is a perfect fit for it. The crypto can be used to send/receive payments within a short period of time which may range from one to a couple of hours.

After reading all that, one might wonder: “if Bitcoin is instant and convenient, what’s stopping it from breaking into the Bitcoin B2B community?” It’s the acceptability and lack of usage. Bitcoin payments can only work if both parties are willing to use it – and considering the risks associated with this currency, not many are ready to accept bitcoin as a payment method.

However, if the business community decides to go with bitcoin, here are some benefits that they can enjoy:

Speed:

Compared to conventional payment methods, Bitcoin is super-fast. The ability to complete international transactions within a few seconds/minutes can solve the speed issues.

Cost:

Low transaction cost is another advantage of Bitcoin. Where other methods cost up to 10-40 USD, transactions through Bitcoin only cost a few cents.

Ubiquity:

The majority of the adult population relies on services like Money Gram or the Western Union for money transfer. Services like these follow a set of rules and restrictions imposed by the government; which greatly affects one’s ability to do business.

However, Bitcoin can solve the issue as it is regulated by a third party to impose restrictions on users. It ultimately provides users with more freedom and makes the transfer process simple. Anyone with a regular PC and access to the internet connection can transfer the coins to whichever part of the world they want.

These are some of the pros that Bitcoin brings with it for the business community. However, all is not that simple. Bitcoin adoption in B2B community can also bring about some harms with it – security and price volatility being the most common ones in Bitcoin community.

Security:

One of the biggest issues with Bitcoin is that the security is the responsibility of the individual making payments. For example, if someone is sending a certain number of bitcoins to someone else, the first thing they will need to make sure is to send it to the right address. A slight mistake and the coins are gone forever.

Another issue is that your computer at which bitcoins are stored must not have any spyware and other suspicious programs installed on it. It compromises the security of the bitcoins.

Volatility:

Another issue with Bitcoin is high volatility. The value of Bitcoin changes in a matter of minutes. With such instability, it’s almost impossible for the business community to adopt Bitcoin payments.

Conclusion:

Although Bitcoin is the most popular form of cryptocurrency and allows instant transfers, there some issues with it – stopping it from a wider adoption. Once these issues are dealt with, there is no doubt that bitcoin will rule the business world.

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15 Crypto-related Websites Get Blacklisted by French Regulatory Agency

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AMF (Autorite des Marches Financiers) is a French stock market regulator and in a press release, they recently announced that on 15th March, 15 cryptocurrency websites have been blacklisted by them.

Blacklisted Companies

15 companies were blacklisted by press release, as these companies nonstop advertised and marketed their products and services to the French public as investment opportunities, even with the new regulations. Such businesses that illegitimately offered investments in commodities such as; diamonds and other metals are also in this blacklist.

cryptocurrency websites

Press Release Statement

According to the press release;

“The investment proposals highlighting the possibility of financial returns or similar economic effects involve intermediation in miscellaneous assets and are now subject to ex-ante control by the AMF. Consequently, no offer can be directly marketed in France without prior allocation by the AMF of a registration number.”

This statement also reminds customers that high profits always include high risks so; advertising materials shouldn’t make you overlook that fact. Moreover, it suggested its customers to work hard enough before making any investment, and get knowledge about their company as much as possible. They also advised their customers to invest in a product only if they completely understand it.

Last year, Francois Villeroy de Galhau (Governor of the Bank of France), issued a warning in December and claimed that Bitcoin is a speculative asset, and there are high risks of investing in it, unlike other digital currencies. French regulators this move follows an array of apprehensive attitudes toward cryptocurrencies from the French government.

Jean-Pierre Landau’s Views

Jean-Pierre Landau is an open Bitcoin critic and in January, he was appointed by the French Minister of the Economy, to assign a task of examining cryptocurrency regulation. Landau sometimes calls Bitcoin the “tulips of modern times” referring it to Tulip Mania, as in 17th century, Europe was flounced by it.

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