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On the r/Bitcoin subreddit, it’s all about Microsoft and Bitcoin, as the tech giant apparently stopped accepting the leader cryptographic money, as per numerous top threads. One focuses on Microsoft following Steam’s footsteps in never again accepting Bitcoin. The talk comes from a Bleeping Computer article that claims the software and hardware monster halted Bitcoin payments.

On a top thread, an r/Bitcoin administrator stickied a post expressing different clients tried to discover the Bitcoin payment choice, however, were not able. His remark notes he trusts it’s “evident that little retail payments don’t bode well for Bitcoin at this moment,” and that despite the fact that everything points to the talk being valid, it is still unverified as there was no official explanation on Microsoft’s end.

Another top thread on Reddit claims Microsoft does still acknowledge Bitcoin payments, and that shills are simply endeavoring to fill the subreddit with fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD). Per this thread, Microsoft enables clients to include a predetermined measure of dollars to their balance utilizing Bitcoin, so the tech giant does indirectly acknowledge the top digital currency.

So, Does Microsoft Still Accept Bitcoin Or Not?

Chatting with Microsoft’s client support, we were told the organization no more acknowledges Bitcoin as a payment option. Eminently, the organization has apparently chosen to quit accepting the crypto money since July 2017.

image credits: ccn.com

Given the unsatisfactory answer we were given, we pressed the issue and were linked to an individual from the Higher help from Microsoft’s Accounts and Billing group. He affirmed Microsoft has quit accepting Bitcoin because of “different issues we are getting with respect to it.” When pressed, he uncovered that “we have no other information on why Microsoft quit accepting Bitcoin payments besides the problems in processing the payments.”

Not The First Time:

This isn’t the first time Microsoft stopped accepting Bitcoin. The tech giant put the breaks on digital currency payment in 2016, soon after the organization’s move started making headlines, it apologized for what it deemed “inaccurate information,” and revealed that Bitcoin payments would still be accepted.

Microsoft initially began accepting Bitcoin by means of BitPay in December 2014. At the time, the move was met with huge fanbase, as the organization joined the ranks of other substantial organizations like Dell, Newegg, and TigerDirect in accepting Bitcoin.

 

Story credits: ccn.com

Image: Google images

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Bitcoin Transactions – Accepting Bitcoin Payments for Smaller/Larger Business

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Accepting Bitcoin Payments

Bitcoin came out almost 8 years ago and has already become the most popular form of cryptocurrency. Where Bitcoin has revolutionized the cryptocurrency transactions, the currency is still struggling to break into the traditional business as most corporations are still not willing to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment.

To encourage the use of cryptocurrency, more corporations need to step up and start accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment.

If you own a business, let’s say, a small store and are looking to accept bitcoin as a form of payment, here is everything you need to know about how to accept Bitcoin payments.

Person to Person Transfer:

One of the simplest and easiest forms of Bitcoin transfer. What you are supposed to do is tell your clients that you accept bitcoin payments and give them your wallet’s public key so they can send you the coins. The process is similar to cash-in-hand payment.

The person to person transfer can be done using several smartphone apps. Finding one shouldn’t be a big deal as there are countless apps for android, iOS and windows users.

However, this type of transfer is only suitable for a smaller business or individuals offering odd services for smaller amounts. Those working at a bigger scale incline towards a solution that fits in with their current POS (Point of Scale) framework, such as verified bitcoin merchants.

Following is a list of most renowned bitcoin merchants out there.

Coinify:

Coinify is a Danish firm which offers POS solutions for both brick-and-mortar and online stores.

Some merchants accept bitcoin currency as payment as well as fiat. Coinify also has a mobile app called “Coinify POS”, which is compatible with both Android and iOS devices.

If you are an online user, you can use Coinify’s various integration tools, such as shopping cart plugins, payment buttons, or hosted invoicing for transactions.

CoinBase:

CoinBase is one of the most renowned Bitcoin merchants out there and has an Android app for bricks-and-mortar retailers.

The highlights of CoinBase include:

  • Currently, Bitcoin only supports US based bank accounts as a source of funding.
  • It also offers e-commerce support.
  • CoinBase likewise provides plugins for WooCommerce, WordPress, ZenCart and Magento

Learn how to buy bitcoin through Coinbase.

BitPay:

BitPay offers its services internationally for both businesses and charities. BitPay is integrated into the SoftTouch POS framework for bricks-and-mortar retail stores. However, it has an additional API which could be implemented into almost every other POS framework with a few alterations to the code.

BitXATM:

BitXATM is a Germany-based bitcoin cryptocurrency ATM.  The POS (point of sale) function of BitXATM has gained the worldwide attention as it has made it easier for merchants to accept payments from clients in digital currencies.

The machine has a 17” touch screen, costs €2,900 (around $3,993) and can accept any fiat currency. Moreover, it accepts/dispenses all forms of digital currency.

Conclusion:

These are some ways in which you can accept Bitcoin as a form of payment. For a smaller business; person to person transactions are the most suitable option. On the other hand, bigger corporations go for verified Bitcoin merchants.

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How to Store Bitcoin with a Paper Wallet

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One of the concerns every Bitcoin user has is how to keep their bitcoins safe from criminals. Well, the answer to that is to store them in a paper wallet, completely away from the internet in an offline environment.

If you do it right, you’ve just initiated one of the safest ways to store your bitcoin. Although, if you mess up in between, it’s still more secure than storing coins in any Bitcoin exchange platform.

Creating a Simple PapeWallet

Start off with a desktop that is clear from all virus.

If you’re having doubts about this, install a copy of the OS on a USB. This is just for safety purposes, you don’t have to do this step. Although, make sure your computer is completely free from all sorts of malicious and nasty viruses. We don’t want your operating system wiping out on you.

Use incognito mode on your browser, and go on to a bitcoin paper wallet creation site

The most well-known paper wallet creation site is said to be bitadress.org, so use your incognito mode to log on to the site.

Turn off your internet connection once bitaddress.org loads

After the site has loaded, turn off your Wi-Fi or unplug your ethernet cable. This will completely remove any leads for your private keys to leak through the internet without your knowledge.

Don’t worry, bitaddress.org was programmed to function perfectly fine even without an internet connection.

Follow the instructions given to the side and move your cursor randomly across the screen

This is the fun part. You’re required to randomly move your cursor around the screen to generate a seed that will be used by BitAddress to generate your personal wallet.

You have now created two QR codes with a combination of random letters and numbers

Congratulations! You’ve officially created your first paper wallet.

The two QR codes are:

  • Bitcoin Address- It will be a long string of letters and numbers jumbled together. This is what you’re going to be sharing with others in order to send and receive Bitcoins.
  • Private Key- This too is a lengthy combination of alphanumeric, but you’re supposed to keep this secret. You CANNOT share your private key with anyone nor can you store it on a computer and, definitely not on the web.

Remember this. If you lose your key, your bitcoins are lost forever and if someone else gets a hold of your private key, they can easily empty your wallet.

Keep your paper wallet safe

The next step is having an offline copy of your Bitcoin Address. While you’re still disconnected from the internet, print the address (make sure your printer is not connected through wi-fi either). Now you have created a hard copy of your Bitcoin address, which you can later add Bitcoin to for a final cold storage solution.

Always keep a backup of your wallet in another location and make sure it is completely secure. If someone gets their hands on it, you’ve lost everything.

Adding funds to your cold storage wallet

You need to use your online wallet for this. Scan the bitcoin address on the paper wallet or just copy it, then send your fund to your cold storage.

 

TIPS

  • Make sure to store your wallet someplace away from moisture, because you don’t want it getting damaged. Try storing it in a Ziploc bag or laminate it, in order to avoid it from coming in contact with any liquid.
  • Use an Operating System that never goes online, to prevent your PC from leaking out your private keys. Print your wallet offline and never go online from that computer in the future.
  • You can store large sums of bitcoins in your cold storage rather than carrying it with you in an online wallet. Keep small amounts of bitcoin in your online wallet for daily transactions and the rest offline, in a secure spot.

 

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How Bitcoin Works in 5 Minutes (Technical)

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Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency. There is no physical existence of Bitcoin, just the verification and value it has been given by a global peer-to-peer network. All these transactions are recorded in Blockchains.

The blockchain is very much like a public shared ledger. All the confirmed transactions performed ever using Bitcoins are recorded in this ledger. These blocks are an ultra-secure data, treated like cash. All the transactions are received and sent through wallets which are digitally signed. To ensure security, bitcoin wallets come with a private key or seed. These signatures ensure that the transaction is performed by the current owner of the wallet and provides with the mathematical proof. In reality, there is no transfer of Bitcoins but the change of ownership and quantities of Bitcoins.

How Does a Transaction Work?

If person A needs to transfer Bitcoins to person B, the transaction carries three parts.

  • An Input- record of wallet of person A
  • An Amount- the number of bitcoins person A sends to person B
  • An output- person B’s wallet

How Can You send Bitcoins?

To send the Bitcoins to anybody you require two things.

  • Bitcoin address
  • Private key

A bitcoin address is generated by an individual randomly. It mainly consists of a sequence of numbers and letters.

A private is a secret key with a unique sequence of numbers and letters.

When person A wants to send coins to person B, she signs a message with her private key to authorize the transaction. The transaction will include,

  • Input (source wallet)
  • Number of Bitcoins to sent
  • Output (person B’s address)

Person A then sends the number of Bitcoins to the Bitcoin network from her wallet. Once entered in the network, miners will then verify the transaction included in the blockchain. The miners will then solve the mathematical puzzle and in the end, it will verify that person B is the new owner of the specified number of coins.

Blockchains

Just like account ledgers containing amount and names, blockchains function almost the same. People exchange money by changing this file.

For instance, if person A sells a product to person B for $5, person A’s balance goes up by $5 and person B will have a reduced balance of $5.

There are no third parties involved in the system, like banks or other financial institutions. So, who takes control and responsibility of controlling and maintain this ledger? Every coin holder maintains their own copy of the ledger. All the participants can see each other’s ledger and their balances. In Bitcoin ledgers, these names are exchanged with specific numbers to ensure anonymity.

To keep every ledger synced and harmonized, there is a protocol that needs to be followed. To do a transaction you tell everyone by broadcasting a message with your account number, the receiver’s account number and the amount to be transferred. Every coin holder around in the world will update their ledger.

There are people who help in maintaining the system. You can simply use the system to perform the transaction without maintaining the ledger.

To ensure sender is the real owner of the account, Bitcoin requires a signature to verify it, but a mathematical signature.

System

When an account is created, a private key is generated mathematically linked to that account number. The private key and the text from the transaction are processed through a special cryptographic function to generate a signature. To make sure the signature is done by the wallet owner and to the specific transaction, another function allows the other people to verify the signature. These signatures cannot be copied as they are unique to each transaction.

The main problem with the system is that this cannot verify when a transaction was performed.

For example, if a person falsely has to withdraw 2 cheques out of an account but it has enough money to cover one account. the bank will refuse the second cheque due to an inadequate amount of cash after the with drawl of the first cheque. It is much harder to determine the order in Bitcoin. Due to the scattered individuals all over the world taking part in the transaction, there may be a delay in different orders in different places. Fraudsters could lie about these time lapses.

Two recipients might both think their transaction is first and ship a product allowing the fraudster two spent the money twice.

New transactions go into a pool of pending transactions. These transactions then get into the giant chain that locks in their order. A lottery is then held, enabling participants to choose a transaction of their choice to solve a special problem to link them to the end of the chain. The person to find the solution first wins and gets their transaction next in the chain.

That’s how pretty much all the transactions in the Bitcoin system are performed.

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Bitcoin Sky-rockets above $4,400 – Sets new all-time high

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Just about a week ago, the cryptocurrency’s value was around $3,382 however, it gained a little over 30% and stood at $4,111 until Sunday, August 14.

On August 15, global exchanges experienced another $200 gain, rising to $4382 from $4,111 just a day ago. This movement is created from the sudden interest shown by new investors and analysts.

Investment managers and experts are now not only following the digital currency, but licensed financial specialists have put about $200 million in an initial coin offering (ICO) for a blockchain network known as filecoin a week ago, a project that targets at making a distributed protocol for file storage.

Additionally, with information from Coinmarketcap demonstrating the digital currencies are currently esteemed at $141 billion, a rise of about 20 percent from $118 billion a week ago.

 

News credits: coindesk.com

Image credits: dailyreckoning.com

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