Tag : cryptocurrency

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BitDegree Platform Grows While Token Struggles


When you think about projects being undertaken in the cryptocurrency world, there are a few that are as strange as BitDegree. This is one of those projects that have a considerably solid platform. The same cannot be said about the performance of its tokens. In fact, the BitDegree platform is showing quite little use for its tokens.
Since its Initial Coin Offering, the platform has shown a lot of promise. The thing is that the token itself has been severely disappointing for the investors. From when it started off, it has lost over 98 percent of its value. That’s how bad things are.
Considering the horrendous performance of the token, developers of the project decided to shake things up. The BitDegree platform has finally begun accepting fiat currency. The creators felt that the token-only aspect of the project was too detrimental for the project. Having fiat payments would save the project and it has, to a certain degree. It is still trying to integrate the BDG token into the product somehow.
The BitDegree project has made a lot of special efforts to encourage the use of its native tokens for the courses that they offer. The first look at the BitDegree makes it look like a platform pretty much like Udemy and other such websites which offer self-learning courses. The difference is that the platform has made significantly more efforts to promote the use of BDG tokens for purchase its courses.
After the change, the prices are now appearing in their US Dollar value.
There is an argument being made. If a token is used within a specific ecosystem, it can have value in and of itself. When you look at the BDG token for the BitDegree platform, there is an ecosystem with course material, teachers and students involved. It is just that the community of cryptocurrency users has generally shown skepticism towards this token. This was not something that BitDegree could have anticipated (much like most things in the cryptocurrency world).
The team behind BitDegree has been trying to entice users to make purchases using the native cryptocurrency token. They have offered discounts of up to 20 percent for every course which is bought using the BDG tokens. It seems like a good enough move to encourage more use of the BDG token, right?
Wrong. The biggest issue with the BDG token is the process of acquiring it. It is too much of a hassle. Not going through the hassle is worth the extra 20 percent people have to pay when they use fiat currency on the platform.
The people who bought the tokens during the ICO have mostly sold their tokens. With a cryptocurrency token which has seen so much depreciation, not a lot of purchases have been made to consider the token viable.
That and the fact that there are only a few cryptocurrency exchanges offering the digital asset trading on their platform makes things worse.
The cryptocurrency community does not feel very good about the BDG token considering all these things. It can only have some worth if more cryptocurrency exchanges start to list it in their portfolio.
There are other projects geared towards education that have managed to create good revenue through releasing tokens. ACAD is the Academy Token which has its own token. It will be used to spend on the courses within its ecosystem.
Until and unless there is a proper user base of dedicated people, the aspect of cryptocurrency being used to make payments won’t take off.
The development team is still in the works. They are trying to make it possible to get the BDG tokens in an easier manner. They want to convert the payments being made on the platform into BitDegree’s native tokens. The platform itself is successful and they might just be able to make the token perform better at some point. It remains to be seen.

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China Hires Cryptographer – Hackers are in High Demand


Traders in China, Russia and the United States are among the most common victims of cyber criminals. The cryptocurrency exchanges in these countries are increasingly becoming targeted by hackers. There are studies which indicate that services provided by hackers are much higher than what is on offer. It’s a similar situation for cryptographers. China’s authorities have decided to hire the services of a cryptography specialist. It will use the expert’s services for one of its censorship agencies. This need arises from the actions of Chinese citizens, who are already using blockchain transactions to go around the censorship.
Cyber security experts in Russia have found that from 2016 to 2017, the amount of data being compromised has increased. The people associated with cryptocurrency exchanges are seeing more and more of their data being compromised. The statistics are roughly showing 5 times the amount from previous years.
It has only gotten worse, with the numbers in the beginning of 2018 showing a 700 percent increase. It is believed that most of these security breaches are the result of client carelessness.
Demand for Hackers Increasing
The demand for hackers that can provide ethical services is significantly more than the supply. Positive Technologies is a company which has gauged this niche market. They’ve conducted analyses of websites offering these specialized services. The amount of orders for malicious programs given to hackers is thrice the amount actually being produced.
There are over 10,000 ads, either offering or seeking these specialized services that have been published on several websites on the darknet. Among the demands being made, about a third of the requests have been for hacking e-mail accounts. Less than a tenth of the requests are for hacking social media accounts. Of all the requests made, a third of them have been responded to by hackers.
Last year saw the cryptocurrency market surge spectacularly. This was the time which saw development of malware, which mined cryptocurrencies in secrecy. 20 percent of all the malicious software being created by hackers belongs to that domain. Ransomware attacks have been just over a tenth of the total number of cyber attacks. Most of the cyber attacks have been through crypto jacking, the term given to secretly mining cryptocurrencies.
Censorship Agency in China Hires Cryptographer
The global demand for hackers has increased significantly over the past few years. China on the other hand, is looking for the services of cryptographers. They want to hire a specialist in cryptography to improve their censorship agency. Specifically, it was the Chinese Public Broadcasting Research Institute that published this job opening. It works under the State Administration of Radio and Television. The agency has said that the cryptographer should be adept in blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.
Blockchain Being Used to Circumvent Censorship
There hasn’t been a lot said about blockchain-related responsibilities for the potential hiring at the agency. The use of blockchain technology to go around censorship and the posting of the job around the same time cannot be a coincidence. According to news reports, Chinese citizens have been using the Ethereum network to share information about a vaccine. The vaccine being distributed by Changchun Changsheng Biotech Company does not meet the state standards.
Chinese internet users have been posting more and more information about the vaccine online. These reports are being deleted from the internet by Chinese authorities but awareness has been created. More and more people are finding out about the vaccine.
A number of Chinese citizens have started to use Ethereum’s public blockchain to share and protect the information. From the looks of it, the hiring of the cryptographer might be used to target said information. The government is incapable of doing it right now and they want to remedy that situation.

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Bitmain First Quarter Profits North of $1.2 Billion According to Leaked Data


A leak in financial data has provided some startling revelations about the cryptocurrency mining giant Bitmain. According to the data, Bitmain’s profits within just the first quarter of 2018 have gone above and beyond a billion dollars. The data has also given some hints about the details of the upcoming IPO for Bitmain.
The data was apparently obtained through an e-mail delivered to Fortune Term Sheet, a media outlet. Apparently, a source that is very close to the company Bitmain sent them this e-mail. This e-mail revealed the mind-boggling billion dollar profit in just the Q1 for the Beijing-based company.
Initial Public Offering by Bitmain
The data obtained by Term Sheet has not yet been published but allegedly, it reveals data about Bitmain being in a fundraising round. According to them, the Beijing-based outfit is trying to get a $400 million worth round from June of 2018. This is apparently going to help them out with an initial public offering (IPO) set to launch later in the year.
The regional news source in China called Toutiao had reported some concrete evidence of the second funding round. This report came to light on the 16th of July in 2018. This increased speculations within the larger cryptocurrency community about a potential Bitmain IPO.
Jihan Wu talked about the possibility of a Bitmain IPO back in June when he was talking to Fortune. Jihan Wu is one of the co-founders of Bitmain Technologies Ltd. He said that the cryptocurrency mining platform is open to possibilities of a listing. It could be in Hong Kong or even in an overseas market. In that case, it would want to be listed in a market which has US dollar denominated shares. These shares have to provide early investors like IDG Capital and Sequoia Capital an exit opportunity.
He went on further to say that the main challenge for the company is to advance the technology further than what’s already been reached. The Beijing-based company is trying its best to stay ahead of the competition and maintain market advantage.
The Data obtained by Term Sheet supposedly also reveals another funding initiative for Bitmain. Apparently, it will see the company be valued at roughly $14 billion US Dollars. This means that the earnings are going to increase eleven-fold.
With the success of a funding round, the cryptocurrency mining company will be able to see an increase of 16 percent in its value in comparison to a recent valuation putting it at $12 billion US Dollars.
Hashing Monopoly by Bitmain Causing Crypto Community to Worry
Bitmain is an example of a highly-successful cryptocurrency-based venture. That being said, not everybody in the cryptocurrency community is excited to see this rise in mining operations. The co-founder of Ethereum, the famed Vitalik Buterin, has recently taken a few quips at the cryptocurrency mining giant. He has also made note of the fact that the company, along with similar ones in the landscape, have control over more than half of Bitcoin’s hashing power.
With the company seeing such immense profits, it seems unlikely that they will let go of such a primary revenue generation source.
The company has increased employment in Israel three-fold and even acquired 20,000 square feet in San Jose.
Hashing Power Surges Forward
With the impending Initial Public Offering and the fast expansion, there is also a massive surge in hashing power for Bitcoin. The data from blockchain.com has shown that there was a massive surge, causing a rise from 36 million TH/s to 50 million TH/s on the 28th of June within the span of a single day. This has sent Bitcoin’s hashrates skyrocketing to record highs.
High hashrates are considered an indicator of what could possibly be a bull run for the cryptocurrency landscape. This sends more and more miners dedicating their hardware so that they can contribute to what they predict will be a mining venture full of profit.

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Block Collider – An Approach to a Multi-Chain Platform like No Other


Blockchain technology-based platforms and distributed networks present many innovative mechanisms that are both new and important. They have the potential to revolutionize the way all industries function. We’re seeing many applications of blockchain technology across different industries as we speak. The problem is that these platforms function within their respective walled gardens. The aspect of interoperability and platforms communicating with one another is the next logical step, which needs to be taken. That is the only way blockchain will see mass adoption throughout the world.
This is where Block Collider enters the scene. It’s a decentralized platform which operates across multiple chains. It is taking a new approach to the interoperability of blockchain networks by creating a bridge. It only makes sense that the bridging mechanism will be facilitated by its own blockchain. It will link together other blockchain-based systems to create a wholesome decentralized mechanism. This new prospect offers several advantages, which makes this approach a novel one.
What is Block Collider?
The premise for creating Block Collider is to create a true and decentralized landscape for the interaction of different blockchains. It will allow their interaction without the problem of security, stability or scalability in real-time. This is a model which will eliminate all the central points of failures we see in the landscape right now. Validators or oracles will be no longer needed. Block Collider’s philosophical and conceptual approach makes it stand out. The underlying blockchain technology cements its credibility to actually achieve the purpose. For a better understanding of their concept, the white paper talks about the Unix design philosophy.
The whole philosophy basically talks about different programs performing particular functions well. The model then connects different modules and allows seamless cooperation between them.
The most defining feature of the Internet is the fact that it allows people all over the world to connect with each other. People are able to share and exchange information without a problem. When it comes to the cryptocurrency world, the need for a model which provides a solution that is true to the spirit of the Internet cannot be stressed enough.
Block Collider basically works by capturing the immediate state of the bridged chains onto its own. Every block on the native chain will be the leading block of the bridged chain. This allows Block Collider to unify different chains. It can reference any of the valid blocks recently verified on the bridged chain. This makes Block Collider the fastest member on the whole chain. Every time a new block is mined on the bridged chain, it also gets added to the Collider blocks.
The Collider platform is then able to perform multi-chain and inter-block trading. For instance, take the example of Bitcoin. Collider users can conduct transactions with Bitcoin between the Bitcoin blockchain times. It does so by setting up its transactions on blockchains faster than Bitcoins like the Ethereum blockchain.
The result is that a Bitcoin can get exchanged between corresponding parties in the same time it takes a transaction to happen on the Ethereum network. It has come down from being a 10-minute long process to around 30 seconds which is just a fraction of the original time. This is just one of the things that Block Collider can accomplish on the network and between any bridged chains on the network.
The Massive Potential
There is a lot of potential on this new platform. Block Collider doesn’t market their platform, even though their ICO project was a huge success. Nonetheless, they are making headways into creating a whole new platform for interconnectivity and interoperability.
Security, scalability and stability are all major concerns in the cryptoverse. A platform of the likes of Block Collider can possibly provide the multi-chain solution which is direly needed in the industry.

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Swiss Online Bank Reaching Soaring Heights Since Crypto Investment Offer


Swissquote is one of the major online banking service providers in the country. It has seen a massive surge in profits, going north of 40 percent. This uplift is being attributed to the cryptocurrency boom that the world is still reeling from.

The bank was considered to be the first major European online bank to launch Bitcoin trading accounts for their customers. There have been other Swiss banks trying to claim their so-called firsts in the cryptocurrency industry as well now.

The sudden growth for Swissquote in the first quarter of the year began with the rising demand for cryptocurrency-based products.

The online bank’s Swiss Quote Group reported that they made a massive profit. At around $23 million CHF within the first half of the year, this is over 40 percent of the profits that they made by this time last year. The number of accounts at the Swissquote online bank has also seen a significant rise. It is not just the number of accounts. The amount of activity with the existing and the new accounts has also seen a sharp rise. All of this has led to increasing profits for the online banking service provider based in Switzerland.

This 44 percent increase also marks the second time that the online banking service provider has seen its profits exceed all expectations. There are several thousand new applicants looking to make an account at the bank ever since it has offered Bitcoin trading services.

The overall rise in the quantity of client assets during this time has increased by 20 percent of its original value and it’s only the middle of the year! The flagship offering of Bitcoin has diversified the cryptocurrency investment products portfolio at the Swiss online banking service.

Cryptocurrencies are making a big impact on the global economic affairs now. There are more Swiss banks making headway into the cryptoverse.

Hypothekarbank Lenzburg became the first Swiss bank to provide business accounts to blockchain-based companies in June.

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Coincheck Owner Plans to Open US Trading Platform


The owner of Coincheck has made plans to launch a trading platform based in the US. Monex, the company which bought the hacked cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck made the announcement on the 27th of July.
The spring this time around will see the launch of the new cryptocurrency trading platform. The summary of the data from a financial briefing confirmed Monex’s plans to establish TradeStation Crypto Inc. as a subsidiary of TradeStation. The securities brokerage firm TradeStation, acquired by Monex in 2011 would effectively have a cryptocurrency-centric subsidiary.
According to the CEO of Monex, Coincheck will also resume full functionality by August. Monex acquired Coincheck in April for $33 million and Oki Matsumoto wants it back up and running.
The Chief Executive Officer had initially planned for Coincheck to resume operations in June. Delays from the Financial Services Authority of Japan made it a problem. The license to resume operations from the FSA was necessary. It is the chief financial regulator in Japan. Their delays kept pushing Coincheck’s revival back again and again according to Cointelegraph.
At a press briefing in Japan, Matsumoto stated that he was sure that they can obtain a license. Monex had already made investments into internal management and cyber security. That is what made the CEO of Monex so sure about the financial regulator’s approval.
Ever since Monex has taken over Coincheck, it has made sure that the cryptocurrency exchange functions properly. The cryptocurrency exchange is strictly complying with all regulations. This is a massive turnaround considering that the exchange lost more than $530 million back in January. This is being considered the largest hack in the industry so far – even bigger than the Mt. Gox debacle. It was considered the worst so far.
May saw officials from the newly acquired Coincheck remove certain altcoins. All the altcoins offering anonymity were taken off the cryptocurrency exchange’s list. That and the first announcement to move into US markets was also made in May. It made sense. Removing those cryptocurrencies makes it possible for them to move to a bigger market.
Matsumoto believes that while Japan may look like it’s ahead in the cryptocurrency world, it isn’t. Moving to the US market will give them that push for the institutional investors and expand their horizons. It seems like Japan is set to get on the path to become a major cryptocurrency world leader with their intention to move to US markets.

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Poloniex Lands into Trouble After Ignoring Complaining Customers


The 25th of July saw the United States Department of Justice take keen interest in the affairs of Poloniex. This is a cryptocurrency exchange platform based in Delaware. The thing is that this interest is probably not in the best interest of the cryptocurrency exchange platform. The Chief Special Investigator of the Investor Protection Unit contacted users of the platform. The inquiry through emails was to ask whether they were having problems with their accounts.
While it might be seen as surprising, their inquiry wasn’t uncalled for. The last few months have seen users barraging the exchange’s social media accounts. Why? Because they have a lot of complaints about them being locked out of their accounts. Without any fault of their own, users are seeing their accounts frozen by the cryptocurrency exchange. This has got the DoJ to spring into action. They are now investigating the matter further and that’s bad news for Poloniex.
The 30th largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, Poloniex was launched in 2014. Circle acquired the exchange in the February of 2016 by Circle. This company’s backed by Goldman Sachs. They plan to grow Poloniex from being more than just a cryptocurrency only exchange.
Problems for Poloniex
December 2017 saw the cryptocurrency exchange announce stricter regulations. Their KYC and AML procedures were to become more rigorous according to the officials from Poloniex. Verification of accounts was being required by the cryptocurrency exchange. Customers who did not verify accounts within 14 days would see their accounts frozen. A lot of customers became confused when it actually started happening.
While that was still understandable, there was a growing number of complaints from customers who complied. They were also seeing their accounts frozen.
The problems continued to grow. More and more customers were facing the problem and the customer support from Poloniex simply kept ignoring the complaints. The Reddit forums started to blow up talking about this issue.
This has led to Craig Weldon, the Chief Special Investigator of the IPU to contact around 100 customers. Of course, the US Department of Justice has not commented on the situation. The reason for that is that this is an open investigation. While we may not know the full length of the matter right now, the fact that the DoJ is looking into the matter means Poloniex is in trouble.
It remains to be seen what action will be taken by the United States Department of Justice. If there’s one fact we do know, Poloniex is indeed in trouble.

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Coinbase Disproves Insider Trading Allegations


San Francisco based cryptocurrency exchange giant has cleared its name from any insider trading allegations. Coinbase launched an independent inquiry at the end of last year to refute allegations made against it. They have successfully cleared their name and proven that there was no such activity.

Bitcoin Cash Trading Allegations

There were concerns about the exchange’s employees conducting insider trading through Bitcoin Cash. July 24th saw the cryptocurrency exchange conclude the investigation into this allegation. The investigation showed nothing of the sort.

The December of 2017 saw Coinbase announce that it will list Bitcoin Cash. This was a hardfork from the first cryptocurrency Bitcoin and they added it to their limited portfolio.

Their addition of Bitcoin Cash resulted in a huge market surge. People started buying Bitcoin Cash like there is no tomorrow. The hardforked cryptocurrency saw a 64% rise in a few hours. For a small time, it was even trading at $9,400. This was a result of the announcement of Bitcoin Cash trading on the exchange.

The sudden surge saw them pause all the trading on the platform. This caused the unnatural price increases to correct itself.

Whenever a new cryptocurrency is listed on a major cryptocurrency exchange, the price increased. This is also known as the Coinbase Effect because of their prominence in the cryptoverse.

Surge Before Announcement

Because the price hike came before the announcement industry observers made the allegations. They believed that the employees at Coinbase had insider knowledge of the matter. That is why they purchased the Bitcoin Cash before other investors.

These allegations led to Coinbase starting the 6 month long investigation. They employed services of two well known law firms to do so. The law firms shared their findings with the company over the course of a week of meetings.

A spokesperson from Coinbase said that the company wouldn’t think twice about firing employees if their policies see violation.

They reported that the voluntary investigation has concluded. There needs to be no action taken against any employees.

After the allegations were made, the CEO of the company released the company’s quality control and trading policy. All the employees are under strict regulation. They know they will face dire consequences if they engage in insider trading. The company will not just terminate the contract but pursue further legal action.

Final Thoughts

The ground reality of the matter is that the company just didn’t handle the announcement of a new listing properly. When the hardfork initially happened, the company said it wouldn’t support the new cryptocurrency. When they launched the BCH on their exchange, it was completely unexpected.

While the internal investigation has cleared the company employees, Coinbase isn’t in the clear yet. disgruntled Coinbase customers have filed a class-action lawsuit against them. They are seeking damages from the company for violating consumer protection laws. There is still a long way to go for the cryptocurrency giant to get out of this situation as the CFTC is reportedly also investigating the cryptocurrency exchange company over the Bitcoin Cash trading allegations.