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Digital currencies such as Bitcoin, Ripple, and Ethereum have been soaring pretty high over the past few months. According to the latest estimates:

  • Bitcoin currently stands at $2588 per BTC
  • Ripple has hit the market cap of $10 billion
  • Ethereum has reached a total market cap of around $20 billion.

This incredible growth in value is the outcome of efforts put in by two countries – China and Japan.

CHINA:

China has been leading the Bitcoin market for the last couple of years. The Chinese mining pools are in charge of 60% of the Bitcoin network’s hash rate. Also, with a cheap electricity and access to proper hardware, China provides the ideal ground for digital mining.

However, in February 2017, three of China’s biggest Bitcoin exchanges suspended all withdrawals due to increased concerns over money laundering and capital flight. BTC China, Huobi, and OKCoin declared in separate statements that they will lift the suspension after the proper implementation of new guidelines set by the Central Bank.

Luckily, during June, there was an announcement that the self-imposed halt on withdrawals by Bitcoin exchanges was no more in place. The news took China by storm. The citizens responded with complete enthusiasm, assuring that they have complete confidence in digital currencies.

JAPAN:

While China was on a halt in the beginning of the year, Japan took Bitcoin to an entirely new level. Towards the start, Japan barely took up 1% of the total Bitcoin market in trading volume. However, that soon changed as Japan now holds at least 6% of trading volume at the moment.

Moreover, Japan has entirely eliminated the tax on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, a move which will ultimately increase the trading activities within the Japanese exchange market. The main aim behind this move was to ensure that all transactions take place without having to deal with any external factors such as taxes. Now, Bitcoin traders and businesses can run smoothly and easily access cryptocurrencies in the country.

Furthermore, Large institutions in Japan have now begun to accept Bitcoin as a payment option. Japan’s largest exchange, bitFlyer, now has the backing of all of Japan’s megabanks: MUFJ, Mizuho, and SMBC. In addition, Bic Camera, a very popular retailer, has paired with bitFlyer to accept Bitcoin at all of its locations. As the acceptance of digital currencies by influential retailers increases, the Japanese have begun to trust digital currencies for daily transactions.

Both the Chinese and Japanese, are responsible for boosting Bitcoin’s value to new heights.

Acceptance by The Government:

The Japanese Government is determined to provide their business community with a proper secure environment, where they are able to easily access cryptocurrencies and conduct trading activities. They’ve already assured that all their retail stores are well-equipped with the right security systems to prevent money laundering and fraudulent transactions from happening.

Ultimately, both governments are driving the cryptocurrency’s growth off the charts, with China in plans of designing and launching its own currency and Japan legally classifying Bitcoin a form of payment.

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A Blockchain Based Real Estate Platform Goes Live In The US

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ShelterZoom, an Ethereum blockchain-based online platform for the real estate, has gone live in the U.S., with worldwide markets to go live in the first quarter of 2018.

New York City-based Cyrus Charter, the first customer on the platform, is in the midst of an initial test for the ShelterZoom stage that started in November. What’s more, 10 clients have started a beta test. The organization recently announced its first WordPress real estate theme affiliate, Estalik, and its first Australian organization, Arena Property Agents.

ShelterZoom is intended to streamline the way toward making and accepting real estate sales offers, decreasing printed material and enhancing the transparency of purchasing and selling. The framework has been worked to the Real Estate Standards Organization principles.

The ShelterZoom online incorporates a dashboard, the Offer NOW gadget, and a portable application which is accessible on Google Play and iTunes, empowering buyers and specialists to instantly submit offers from online real estate listings with only a couple of clicks or taps.

Sign Ups Are Being Accepted:

The site is now allowing sign-ups for the Offer NOW gadget, which can be coordinated with any affiliate site including real estate listings with a couple of lines of code, at no cost to the sign-ups before Jan. 31, 2018.

ShelterZoom charges $8 for each offer submission following the free beta timeframe finishing by Feb. 28, 2018.

“ShelterZoom is well positioned to bring the whole real estate industry onto it,” said Chao Cheng-Shorland, prime supporter, and executive. The gadgets can be received by any real estate site. Cheng-Shorland drives the multi-national team alongside fellow benefactor and chief Amir Allen Alishahi.

“Standardized, straightforward, and secure offers are the eventual fate of the business,” Cheng-Shorland included.

Versatile Dashboard:

Clients can track, accept, reject or counter offers progressively, while purchasers and operators can track offer statuses on their ShelterZoom dashboards. All parties to an exchange can get push or text notifications all through the procedure and chat with each other.

“We will see quick adoption of blockchain technology by commercial centers, associations, and whole enterprises,” said Sergey Fradkov, ShelterZoom technical advisor. “Blockchain and related digital money usage will empower new plans of action and streamline collaborations between members. They will likewise empower new members to rapidly build up themselves in the business fragments and create numerous new business opportunities.”

Canada, Australia, Europe, and countries in the Middle East are set to go live on the platform in the first quarter of 2018.

Story credits: ccn.com

Image: Google images

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European Union Official Says Blockchain is “Going Mainstream”

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According to the latest blockchain news 2018, the vice president of a European Commission has officially asked the EU nations to commit to blockchain-technology; which, according to him, is going mainstream. The vice president of the European Commission said this in a speech on “digitization,” and highlighted the blockchain technology as an area that EU nations must be committing to. European Commission vice-president, Andrus Ansip highlighted blockchain technology amid the parts where Europe is top-positioned and is playing a leading role along with AI (Artificial Intelligence).

EU Blockchain

EU’s Opening Remarks

The official offered the “opening remarks” of the annual ‘Digital Day’ of European Union, which was initially held in Brussels this year, where Ansip stated:

“I would like to see EU countries make a similar commitment (as with AI) to blockchain technologies – now moving out of the lab and going mainstream. As with AI: we should make the most of this new opportunity to innovate.”

In order to achieve their aim, the European Commission’s official called on national governments as well as private sectors to subsidize the cause and stated the EU’s own “public purse only goes so far”, demonstrating almost 1% of the yearly-wealth produced by economies of EU and added, that they need a hard crash.

The remarks were quite noteworthy as they came up just within weeks, earlier in the month of February, when EU launched its own “Blockchain Observatory.” The EU blockchain establishment was first announced by the EC last year and was a response to an European Parliament mandate to reinforce the technical proficiency of EU in innovative technologies.

European Blockchain Partnership

According to the European Commission, it will be investing €300 million in projects that are linked to the use of blockchain technology directly. The EU also unveiled that it is placing the groundwork which is required to create a “European Blockchain Partnership” for promoting interoperable-infrastructures, amid EU nations, to boost and stand-in trusted digital services. In the meantime, the officials of EC previously hinted that they’d be presenting a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies.

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Intel Blockchain Technology: Can Blockchain Technology Overpower Next Generation Media Rights?

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Intel is a multinational corporation and technology company, which is considered as a giant tech, and the company is finally joining the rising list of initiative firms that perceive blockchain tech as a way to reinterpret digital rights management.

Intel’s Patent 

On 8th March, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office released a patent application. In that patent, a method was described by the Silicon Valley tech company to use blockchain for downloading the rights to digital images. Intel’s patent proceeds to referenced videos and various other types of content, apart from images and offers a more inclusive rights system with further extra characters.

intel blockchain technology

Let’s take an example! Intel’s system allows its users to uphold everything in progress, which includes unstructured bits like; literature with many editors. This would be the only way in which content can be solely altered according to the copyright policy settings.However, Intel is somehow far away from pursuing the idea all alone.

On the other hand, in addition to the exertion of blockchain industry, such as Berklee’s Open Music Initiative companies, including two of the Chinese companies, in order to make headlines for the same ideas in recent weeks are;

  • ZhongAn
  • WENN Digital

Patent’s Statement

In the patent application it is stated as;

“Blockchain technology is used to document and verify attributes of digital content that are relevant to copyright protection. Such attributes may include, for instance, an identifier for the author of the content, a timestamp to indicate when the content was created, and a measurement that can subsequently be used to detect copying or modification of the content.”

As it is already defined, multiple types of software are being used by this proposed platform to evaluate copyright policy settings automatically for every image, it doesn’t matter if the picture has been taken from external sources. After that, a unique identity is formed for both the original content and altered versions (if there are any). The patent has labelled these two identities as shadow-images.

The company also filed a patent, back in 2016, for blockchain-powered software in order to benefit research DNA, genetic sequencing, particularly. The patent is updated as well which makes Intel to go on a hunt to secure its intellectual conceptions, which are related to the industry.

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Areas That May Require Your Attention in the Crypto-World

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The point of using a digital currency is that it’s completely decentralized and disconnected from any government control. Yet, some exchanges completely defeat the purpose of digital currency by placing it into third-party systems. It is essential to understand that we no longer have to give up our control over our assets and shouldn’t be dependent on governments to protect them.

This is a review of “Tim Swanson’s” – “Eight Things Cryptocurrency Enthusiasts Probably Won’t Tell You.” Read on to know more.

Here are eight areas that require your attention:

crypto world

1. Bitfinex

A Hong Kong-based digital currency exchange that is known to be hacked several times in the past. A little over a year ago, $65 million dollars’ worth of bitcoins were stolen from the exchange. Till now, Bitfinex has failed to provide evidence as to how they were hacked or where those funds led to. Users were fooled by the potential for returns but in turn faced a major loss as their accounts were left empty.

2. Ransomware, Ponzi’s, Zero-fee and AML-less exchanges

A report from Xinhua was released last month that read:

China’s two biggest bitcoin exchanges, Huobi and OKCoin, collectively invested around 1 billion yuan ($150 million) of idle client funds into “wealth-management products.”

In simple words, these exchanges were functioning while charging zero-fees by using customer deposits to invest in other financial products without the customer’s knowledge. According to insiders and reporters that many exchanges in China carried out similar practices. Also, exchanges in developing countries lacking AML and KYC measures majorly benefit from scams and thefts.

3. Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs)

Many investors are chasing quick profits instead of utility. Recently, many firms are aiming towards scamming practices due to which several other legitimate ICOs are suffering. Several ICO boot camps in China were set up with past experience in pyramid schemes, this leads to not just single fraud incidents but very frequent ones as well.

4. VC-backed entities

5. The decline of Maximalism

6. Market caps

We have very little idea of what is really happening with Bitcoin transactions or any cryptocurrency for that matter.  Market cap is based mainly on a company’s assets and future cash flows but with cryptocurrencies, it is completely misleading. Especially, when random meaningless coins sell a small segment of their total supply then, claim a huge market cap.

7. Buy-side analysts and con media

Many big-name media companies practice a biased reporting which mainly focus on the benefits of coins but not equally shed light on the potential risks as well. They cover basically everything and anything regarding market caps, statistics and basic buy/own cryptocurrencies articles. But what if these major companies are funding other odd companies side by side?

The point is, that if these firms want to be taken seriously, they might as well take on the best practices so they support long-term capital inflows.

 

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Buying Bitcoins Through Xcoins – Is the Service Legitimate?

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Buying Bitcoins Through Xcoins

Xcoins is a Bitcoin lending service. It allows you to buy bitcoin with a credit card or PayPal. Lately, there has been too much talk about Xcoins and whether is it legit to buy bitcoins with this service.

In this article, we have discussed all the aspects of Xcoins to help you understand the concept of the service, and whether it is legit to buy bitcoins through Xcoins.

Buying Bitcoin with PayPal Through Xcoins:

Due to the possibility of chargeback fraud – and the lack of support for Bitcoin from PayPal itself, it’s extremely hard to buy bitcoins with PayPal. Xcoins, on the other hand, have exploited this problem and claim to have found a solution in which the coins are loaned instead of getting sold to the clients.

In order to buy bitcoins through Xcoins, the users go to the site where they do an ID verification. After the verification process, they’ll be required to deposit:

  • USD equivalent to how much they want to borrow
  • PayPal/credit card processing fees
  • A fixed amount that acts as the interest on the loan

The site claims to have competitive fees due to their lenders competing against each other for the best possible rate. However, in most cases, the interest rate is fixed at 15% – which could possibly be the lowest interest rate offered by Xcoins. Interestingly, it’s still way higher than what most Bitcoin exchanges offer.

Trading Bitcoins on Xcoins:

Xcoins is not just a buying service – you can also sell/lend coins on the site. To do so, you must decide how much you are willing to loan, and then deposit the amount into your Xcoins account. The amount must be in USD.

Once the deposit is made, the system will automatically direct you to the buyers and they will deposit the money directly into your PayPal account.

Pros and Cons of Xcoins:

The major pros and cons of Xcoins include:

Pros:

  • The quick purchase of Bitcoin either through Credit Card or PayPal.
  • Easy sign-up.

Cons:

  • Slow refunds – can take up to a week or longer.
  • Support staff is not active – even on working days. If you send them an email, expect the response to come in at least two days.
  • Constant complaining to their Support can result in a permanent ban.
  • If you do not dispute your charges, they will disable your ability to buy bitcoins.
  • If you purchased some coins but the lender is not willing to release them, you will still be charged.

Conclusion:

From buyer’s perspective – Xcoins isn’t stable enough for large purchases. Also, the fees are extremely high in comparison to other exchanges. However, if your only option to buy Bitcoin is PayPal, then Xcoins is the way to go.

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