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Zero-commission startup exchange, Robinhood has announced its expansion in Colorado through social media giant, Twitter. According to Robinhood, the trading platform is going to provide a commission-free trading for top-cryptocurrencies in the western state, i.e. Bitcoin and Ethereum.

ethereum trading app

Colorado is best known for its blockchain-friendly legislation and ‘rocky mountain peaks’ has joined with few states, including;

  • California
  • Massachusetts
  • Missouri
  • Montana

Response from Twitter Followers

After this announcement on Twitter, a flurry of responses started out, as many requested the trading platform to add Litecoin and plead to expand into other states as well, like; Florida and Texas. According to Robinhood, you can expand the list by asking your friends to join the exchange as well. However, some twitter followers in the states say – where Robinhood cryptocurrency has rolled out, that they are stuck on a waiting list.

Zero-fee Exchange

Zero-fee exchange gains depend on the footholds in the US. If we talk about New York, the Attorney General of New York, Eric Schneiderman is in a bid for better transparency and has contracted with over dozen crypto exchanges with information requests. The expansion was quite enough to send the leading cryptocurrencies’ prices decline a little bit, however, they rallied later.

Gemini, which is a digital assets exchange and is run by the Winklevoss twins, is also ready to comply. However, others find the request quite insolent. Winklevoss twins (Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss) are leading a self-regulatory group as well for better practices in the crypto industry.

 

Robinhood didn’t specify whether it is going to support altcoins beyond Bitcoin and Ethereum but it does propose a market data for numerous altcoins. As the exchange is quite famous amid millennials, it is estimated to have the worth of almost $5.6 billion instantly from its latest. Although Robinhood is introducing a zero-fee crypto trading, it provides a premium account under the name Robinhood Gold as well.

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Connecticut Resident Pleaded Guilty to Bitcoin Phishing Scheme

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35-year-old Michael Richo of Wallingford, Connecticut, finally confessed to stealing $365,000 in Bitcoin in Hartford Federal Court on Tuesday. According to a release from the US Department of Justice, through a phishing scheme, he posted malicious links programmed to appear as a replica of very popular dark market websites.

Richo accepted that he stole more than 10,000 usernames and passwords and used this data to supervise the bitcoin balance and accounts of victims. He then sold his victims’ assets on Bitcoin exchange platforms for US dollars.

He was previously arrested last October on charges of wire fraud, identity theft, and computer fraud. Eventually, he gave in and was pleaded guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced in September.

The charges are meant to carry a maximum sentence of 30 years of imprisonment.

 News credit: coindesk.com

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Everything you need to know about Segregated Witness

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I have been noticing on many online bitcoin districts that various users are unable to understand the concept of Segregated Witness. This post will clear up any doubts, uncertainties, and myths regarding SegWit.

So, what happens in SegWit?

SegWit is short for Segregated Witness and it’s a proposal presented by the developers of Bitcoin Core. Originally it was aimed to solve the transaction malleability, which is a well-known weak spot in the Bitcoin system. The idea behind SegWit is that the signatures in a transaction, also known as the “witness data” are skipped when calculating the transaction id.

Basically, SegWit will update the 1MB size block limit to 4-million unit block weight limit. This counts serialized
witness data and one unit and core block data as four units. This is an entirely new transaction format, meaning the block size is increased. SegWit counts each byte in a witness as 0.25 bytes towards the 1MB block limit, thus the maximum size of a block becomes just under 4MB.

It’s not that the data gets smaller, it’s just counted in a way that allows for the block limit to be increased.

The short/easy version

In simple words, signature related data is removed from bitcoin transactions, causing them to appear smaller in size. Also, making the block size smaller, further, allowing more transactions to take place.

 

Clearing up myths and rumors

Myth: SegWit as a soft fork is much more dangerous than a hard fork

A soft fork ensures that the backward and forward compatibility is under control. Also, when a soft fork is set up, old versions of Bitcoin software will be able to function without any faults. On the other hand, a hard fork requires every Bitcoin user to update to the new software to support the consensus rules. Any user that fails to upgrade to the new software might be under the risk of getting thrown off the Bitcoin network.

 

Myth: SegWit is more complicated than a super simple hard fork

Similar to a hard fork, SegWit proposes the same idea of increasing the block size limit. No doubt, it is pretty complex and introduces several changes, but it is a relatively simple conceptual change. Basically, SegWit ignores the signatures when calculating the transactions, but as a soft fork, some additional changes must be made to make SegWit transactions compatible with non-segwit nodes. These changes then have side effects which can be beneficial to Bitcoin. It also contains more functionality than a hard fork increasing the block size limit. The hard fork to increase the block size limit also appears simple, but additional changes need to be made to support the deployment and to solve the quadratic hashing issue with transactions.

 

Myth: Miners who don’t upgrade to segwit will be forcefully told to quit the bitcoin network

This is false since SegWit will be deployed using the BIP9 versionbits which uses a 95% threshold. A miner would not run into any trouble, as long as he follows certain rules. However, if he fails to follow these rules, he could end up with transactions including witnesses but he wouldn’t be having the witnesses nor the witness root hash in the Coinbase. This would be an invalid block that would be in the orphan pool.

 

What are the benefits of SegWit?

Besides the obvious benefit of having to increase the capacity, there are several other benefits that come with the introduction of SegWit. Some of those benefits are:

  • Node performance is tested based on how weighting data
  • Signature covers value
  • Linear scaling of sighash operations
  • MultiSig gets more security
  • Script versioning
  • Increased security to almost-full-nodes

Why hasn’t SegWit been activated yet?

If there is not enough support shown, it might result in a contentious fork. That means a part of the network switches to the new client while some remain to use the older version. This leads to two sets of cryptocurrencies with different rules, co-existing and competing for users and legitimacy.

In order to avoid such a situation, the developers of SegWit have programmed a specific rule in the software proclaiming that it will only activate once it reaches the 95% mark.

Currently, the support is hovering around 32-33%. 

Everything you need to know about Segregated Witness

 

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Cryptocurrency-Mining Marked as a Malicious threat by Microsoft

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The continuous demand and popularity as well as a sudden increase in the prices of various types of cryptocurrencies has aroused a wide scale interest. Instead of all that popularity and demand, the future of digital currency is still uncertain due to many reasons.

Cybercriminals played a critical role in this scenario when they started to demand ransom in the form of cryptocurrencies, most notably Bitcoin, which is the most popular and precious of these cryptocurrencies. It was already expected due to the safe and anonymous transaction facility. As a result, the demand of cryptocurrencies increased and automatically led to the mining of cryptocurrencies.

That’s why Microsoft has recently released a blog post elaborating the increasing threats of malicious cryptocurrency miners. Let’s see what actually cryptocurrency mining is:

cryptocurrency mining

Cryptocurrency Mining

Talking in simple words, coin or cryptocurrency mining is the process of running complex mathematical calculations in order to maintain the blockchain ledger. Though this process gets you a very small amount of coins but it pays well as the prices have gone up during the past few years. As a matter of fact, cryptocurrency mining will celebrate its 10th year in 2019. Because of the continued use of high level computing and uninterruptible power supply, it is not a too much popular practice. It is an intensive task that requires significant resources from dedicated processors and other hardware including heavy duty graphic cards.

Measures from Microsoft to Block Miners’ Attack

As mentioned earlier, Microsoft has shown some serious concern in this regard. The main reason is that technically, cryptocurrency mining can come in various malicious forms and can be implemented in a lot of ways. The largest threat is the so-called cryptojacking. Cryptojacking refers to remote browser-based coin mining that uses background resources to mine when a user visits the malicious URL turning his computer into a host. The same thing can also infect your computer with unwanted applications, while some hackers might be able to modify the startup settings of your computer, so every time you boot it, the unwanted malicious application will run in the background affecting your system speed.

The main reason for Microsoft’s concern is the core issue associated with the loss of computer resources. Corporate setups can face a huge drain of their available resources.

Precautionary Measures

Fortunately, Microsoft has successfully blocked a major attack at the beginning of this month.

In order to stay protected, Microsoft has recommended to use advanced machine learning detection modes in Windows Defender ATP to identify and prevent such malicious threats.

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Cryptocurrencies in Russia: Government Is Settling Up Conflict on Draft Crypto-Law

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The Russia Federation is getting closer to decide the law, covering the trading of crypto-tokens and ICOs (initial coin offerings) within the country, Russia.

On Monday, a report was released by RIA, which is a Russian news agency that according to Alexei Moiseev (Russian deputy finance), the jurisdictional conflict amid the Finance Ministry and Bank of Russia associated with the subject of draft crypto law to rule cryptocurrency-related activities in Russia has been settled.

Alexei Moiseev has told the journalists that the final word about this conflict of cryptocurrency trading is linked to the Central Bank, which means it belongs to it. At this time, it seems like the Ministry has chosen to relinquish this issue to the core financial regulator.

russian cryptocurrencies

Alexei Moiseev’s Statement

Alexei Moiseev stated:

“Yes, the disagreement with the CB has been resolved and this issue has been entrusted to the CB. The CB will make decisions [on this matter]”

The new Russian draft law on cryptocurrencies will permit coin trading after proper verification. The Central Bank, also sometimes referred as CB has shown some serious uncertainties earlier and expressed that the digital currencies have to be legal in Russia and suggested to do this only with the ICO tokens. However, the Finance Ministry opposed this, telling that the whole ban of Russian cryptocurrencies would just make a shadow market.

Well, this issue deserves to be mentioned that how digital currencies reemerged just after the local presidential elections, as they’ve remained in the background for the past few months. Seemingly, now that the President has managed to secure his position again, local issues and draft laws are once again getting back on the agenda.

Reports

It’s been reported before that a draft has been filed by the Finance Ministry, which would execute a threshold for ICO and its activities related to it in Russia as an exertion to let the token sales under a delimited environment. The law must let these token offerings to be traded with Russian rubles as further assets drew differing sentiments from the Bank of Russia, and the Central Bank of the Company. These two government bodies have achieved a consensus according to Moiseev, as he said:

“Yes. The central bank will make a decision”

What RIA has to say about it?

According to RIA, the Bank of Russia may now consider the option of permitting investors to exchange tokens distributed under the proposed ICO framework with fiat money. Though, “crypto to crypto” trading might not be allowed there.

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Best Way to Buy Bitcoin with Bank Accounts

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Bitcoin is for the unbanked – and those who’d like to get unbanked. Transferring bitcoins to bank account is not viable, but buying is. There are several exchanges that allow the feature of buying bitcoin with the bank account. The most renowned ones being:

CoinBase:

CoinBase is the world’s biggest Bitcoin broker. In the United States, you can purchase bitcoins with an associated bank account by means of ACH bank transfer. In Europe, you can purchase with your bank account by means of SEPA exchange. Buys made with ACH take 5 days for the coins to be conveyed, while SEPA buys take under two days. CoinBase charges 1.49% fee on all exchanges. Americans may include a Visa or Mastercard as reinforcement to unlock instant payments by means of bank transfer.

BitStamp:

Bitstamp is one of the world’s biggest Bitcoin exchanges. It makes it simple for Europeans to buy bulks of bitcoins quickly with SEPA bank exchange. Practically anybody on the planet can utilize their bank account to send a wire exchange to Bitstamp. Fees may apply.

Kraken:

Kraken is the world’s biggest euro-designated Bitcoin exchange based on daily trading volume. It underpins bank transfers from US, European, Canadian, British, and Japanese clients and deposits can be made through SEPA exchange and international bank transfers.

So, these are the top three Bitcoin exchanges which allow their clients to buy bitcoins with the bank account. based on your location, choose one that you are most convenient with.

Tags: best place to buy bitcoins, buy bitcoin with bank account

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