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Sri Lanka Central Bank Offered R3 Membership After Very Positive Discussion

n n n n R3 Consortium has invited the Sri Lankan central bank to join its list of members after a very positive discussion.n

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East And West What ICOs Can Learn From Qtums Successful Blitz Crowdsale

n n n n A key factor that played an important role in Qtums ability to raise over $15 million in five days of its initial coin offering is the startups ability to sell its idea globally, both in West and East.n

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Third Alphavend Bitcoin ATM Opens in Londons Kings Cross

n n n n Alphavend has installed a third Bitcoin ATM, representing its second in London with a maximum purchase limit of 1000.n

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Freedom Cells can Leverage Bitcoin to Embrace Agorism

Bitcoin’s decentralized nature is one of its most important features; it is the feature of freedom. This means bitcoin is not arbitrarily controlled by a central group of jackbooted thugs, political leeches, or other enemies of liberty.

Also read: Where Do You Stand on the Yin & Yang of Different Bitcoin Ideologies?

It is true Bitcoin relies on a set of developers to make decisions in terms of protocol changes (albeit dependant on approval by miners and node operators), but in no way do they possess the same authority as the sociopaths who manipulate the central banks in the United States do. Consensus among the developers and community determine the growth, evolution, and direction of the protocol.

Freedom Cells

Freedom Cells can Leverage Bitcoin to Embrace Agorism
People work in the garden at the Freethinker House in Houston, Texas.

In this manner, Bitcoin pairs perfectly with a new type of decentralized, freedom-based community. These communities are what anarchist and freethinker Derrick Broze refers to as Freedom Cells.

In Broze’s upcoming book Manifesto of the Free Humans, to be released on April 7, written with co-author John Vibes, they describe what they mean by “freedom cell.”

These are small groups of renegades that consist of roughly eight members that unite in a decentralized fashion. Their goal is to work cooperatively to live outside the confines of the State. Broze has even started his own freedom cell in Houston, Texas, and refers to their living quarters as the Freethinker House.

In their book, Broze and Vibes describe Freedom Cells as,

“Peer to peer groups made up of 7 to 9 people (with 8 being ideal) organizing themselves in a decentralized manner with the collective goal of asserting the sovereignty of group members through peaceful resistance and the creation of alternative institutions.”

These Freedom Cells implement agorism to power their activity. Agorism is a term coined by late philosopher Samuel Konkin III. It is the philosophy that people should make voluntary exchanges on the black market and subsist through these markets for the purposes of creating social change. Konkin referred to this type of activity as counter-economics.

Broze and Vibes have taken this counter-economic philosophy and uniquely created a practical way to implement it via decentralized freedom cells, and thus Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies provide the obvious type of currencies these groups can use.

Bitcoin Decentralization and the Underground Economy

The decentralized nature of Bitcoin allows freedom cells to prosper in an underground Freedom Cells can Leverage Bitcoin to Embrace Agorismmarketplace. It is true that many freedom cells may use a barter system as the primary portal of economic activity, but cryptocurrency provides alternative, digital, pseudonymous, and transferable store of value.

Matter of fact, Bitcoin has the capacity to help incentivize people to create decentralized, peer-2-peer freedom cells, because it makes living economically within those groups more practical and exciting. An interesting side-effect of decentralization is it places emphasis on the smaller community or subgroup.

How Freedom Cells Flourish

When people realize they do not need central planners to run their lives, they immediately start thinking on a small scale. When there is no more government to defer to, people do not imagine that faraway authorities should control them or tell them how to live. Bitcoin is a part of this decentralizing process, and other cryptocurrencies may also fill a similar role.

Bitcoin allows freedom cells to flourish, because it helps these groups make trades without necessarily using a barter system. It provides them with a technological means for accomplishing the same thing, except with more practicality. In essence, crypto-money was created as a technology to make economic transactions simpler and freer. This currency was intended to be the dominant currency of the counter-economy, and it will let more maverick liberty groups illuminate more paths to freedom and prosperity.

How would you leverage cryptocurrency in your Freedom Cell? 

Images via Shutterstock and Derrick Broze’s Free Thinker House Facebook page.

Still have questions about Bitcoin? We have a detailed FAQ section with dozens of general questions and even a free Bitcoin guides page for detailed explanations of several important topics.

The post Freedom Cells can Leverage Bitcoin to Embrace Agorism appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Decentralized Exchange Bitsquare Aims to Fulfill the Dreams of the Cypherpunks

This week chatted with Manfred Karrer, the founder of the decentralized cryptocurrency exchange Bitsquare.

The platform Bitsquare considers itself to be the first fully decentralized cryptocurrency exchange that operates with privacy-centric foundations. The Bitsquare protocol was created in 2014, offering bitcoin trading against a number of altcoins and national currencies with no third party centralization. Karrer gives our readers some insight on the platform’s recent development, its rebranding phase, and the upcoming DAO white paper.

Also read: You Might Be Exchanging Bitcoin With Trading Bots and Not Even Know It

‘Bitsquare Tries to Make Bitcoin the Success Cypherpunks Have Dreamed Of’ (BC): How has development been going with Bitsquare?

Bitsquare Aims to Fulfill the Dreams of the CypherpunksManfred Karrer (MK): We are very busy with a huge release including our new DAO model and the rebranding to “Bisq.” With those big changes, we used the opportunity to add more features and improvements which we could not have added before without breaking backwards compatibility. Those features include tx fee estimation, user defined security deposit, dynamic trading fee based on amount and distance to market price, and much more. Besides that, we got support for internationalisation and 13 translators are working on translating the app into 15 languages.

We broke backwards compatibility for the first time since we launched the beta a year ago. I think the coming improvements and the DAO are worth it. But no worry, people will still be able to run the old version in parallel with the new version that will start with a separate new network. We expect that the old version will fade out soon. We also have more developers on board. One is working on APIs, a feature which was heavily requested and should help us get more market makers.

The most exciting part will be our DAO model. Stay tuned, we will release a white paper soon.

BC: Many peer-to-peer exchanges like Localbitcoins have been seeing increased volumes this year. Would you say Bitsquare volumes have increased as well?

Bitsquare Aims to Fulfill the Dreams of the Cypherpunks
Bitsquare’s Manfred Karrer.

MK: Yes, volume has increased, though not as much as at Localbitcoins. But I think in many of those markets Bitsquare is still not known and we do not have all the translations to other languages at the moment. Besides that, in emergent market countries, the requirements to install a desktop application instead of using a web-based exchange and keep the app running if you have an offer open, might be a limiting factor as well.

We did not spend much effort on promotion as well as our limited resources have been focused on development, the DAO model, and the rebranding. So the good thing is;

We see that there is still a lot of headroom and potential and we are happy that an exchange model like Localbitcoins has success in a context where most exchanges are operating like banks and will face more and more regulatory pressure.

BC: Would you say Bitsquare is more complicated to use for the average user? 

MK: I’ve heard from first-time users and bitcoiner newbies that they have been surprised how easy it was to use. That said we know there is a lot to improve on usability, but I think it’s not a big problem for the userbase we are targeting.

But sure, Bitsquare has it’s limitations compared to centralized exchanges – it is not very well suited for day-trading-style speculative activities. Bitsquare is mainly designed for those who want to get in or out of Bitcoin. For speculators, we have some solutions in mind for the future.

Those users who appreciate Bitsquare’s high level of protection of their privacy will understand that there are tradeoffs and that decentralisation comes with some costs. Same applies to Bitcoin. Beside conceptual limitations, we will try to improve what is possible. The DAO model will help us to scale up with a decentralized funding model to pay developers and contributors who implement all those improvements.

Bitsquare Aims to Fulfill the Dreams of the Cypherpunks
The Bitsquare dashboard.

BC: Besides Bitcoin what are the most traded altcoins on Bitsquare currently?

MK: Monero is the top currency on the altcoin side. But also many others, often less-known altcoins. It’s happened to me a few times that I get surprised by the high trading activity of an altcoin I was not familiar with, just to find out a few months later that this altcoin has gotten very successful. I saw that with Decred and Sia for instance. The success of an altcoin was of course not because of the trading volume in Bitsquare but I think it is not a coincidence that those who support Bitsquare, those who share similar motivations, and despite the low trading volume, take the extra effort to use and support Bitsquare. Those often have strong potential, which over time get reflected in high market capitalisations. Maybe that is an “over-interpretation” or “wishful thinking” but at least it helped me a few times to make some good investments.

BC: With the price so high do you think it’s more important these days for people to use a decentralized exchange rather than holding funds on a centralized exchange?

MK: Yes, the high-security risk of leaving your bitcoin on a centralized exchange has not changed since Mt Gox. With higher prices, the risks are higher as well. Sure the companies get more professional (hopefully) over time but so do the hackers and the “bounties” if they succeed. With all the risks and incidents, more pressure will arise for regulation. So even those who are not using these services will suffer from the negative effects produced by centralized exchanges. Unfortunately externalizing costs is a very common pattern in our society.

BC: Is there a way to tell how large your user base is?

MK: We had about 10000 downloads of the app for the last version which was online for about 40 days. The current release got 2000 in about 1 week. I think these numbers reflect our actual user base quite well. 2000 users who frequently use it and 10000 users who use it occasionally (which is not so uncommon for those who just want to buy or sell once a month and are not using Bitsquare as heavy traders).

BC: Where do you see decentralized exchanges go in the next five years?

MK: Five years might be a bit long horizon to make any prediction. The only prediction I would risk to make is that Bitcoin will still be here. So if Bitcoin survives, it will stay decentralized and censorship-resistant.

If Bitcoin loses those properties it will fail for sure, as it is inferior to competitors like Paypal or Visa without the censorship resistance.

For becoming relevant on a larger scale, the conversion to traditional currencies (fiat) is crucial. This area will become a very political one. We might end up with just banks acting as exchanges and the current path, which centralized exchanges are going down, will lead in that direction. Regulatory hurdles will become too high — so only banks will be able to fulfill that. Privacy protection will not be part of such a setup. Bitsquare is a counterpole to that.

We might end up in a similar situation as the telecoms in relation to the Internet. They are aliens to the spirit of the Internet but they control the critical infrastructure — the gateways. If we manage to get an exchange infrastructure which follows the same principles as Bitcoin we might end up in a better situation. If we do so or not is hard to predict. But it is in our hands and it is not too late yet. The decisions that are made today, and tomorrow — probably won’t be the same in five years. Bitsquare tries to help to make Bitcoin the success the cypherpunks have dreamed of.

Have you tried the decentralized exchange Bitsquare? Let us know about your experience in the comments below.

Images via Shutterstock, and Bitsquare. 

Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency that enables near-instant, low-cost payments to anyone, anywhere in the world. Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority: transaction management and money issuance are carried out collectively by the network. Read all about it at  

The post Decentralized Exchange Bitsquare Aims to Fulfill the Dreams of the Cypherpunks appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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How Japan Prepares to Recognize Bitcoin as Method of Payment on April 1

In February, reported that the first Japanese bill containing digital currencies, recognizing Bitcoin as a method of payment, was expected to enter into force sometime in April. Last week, the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) officially announced that the exact date for this bill to become law is April 1.

Also read: Countdown: Bitcoin Will Be a Legal Method of Payment in Japan in Two Months

Bitcoin Officially a Method of Payment

The bill recognizes Bitcoin as a method of payment but not currency. It has “asset-like values”, explains the largest bitcoin exchange by volume, Bitflyer. They are “usable as payment to indefinite parties for the cost of purchase or rent of items or receipt of services and which can be transferred by means of electronic data processing systems”, the exchange describes, adding that:

The new law defines Bitcoin and other virtual currency as a form of payment method, not a legally-recognized currency. Bitcoin will continue to be treated as an asset unless there are future revisions or directives to Japanese tax law.

Burden on Exchanges and their Customers

Along with making Bitcoin an officially recognized method of payment, the bill also imposes a number of requirements on bitcoin exchanges. They will be required to register with the Prime Minister and must meet a number of requirements.Japan Prepares to Recognize Bitcoin as Method of Payment on April 1

For example, they must have a minimum capital of 10 million yen as well as a sufficient IT system for theft and loss prevention. They must also establish several systems and processes, such as employee training, internal rules, governance, and guidance for outsourcing.

The bill that will go into effect on April 1 also revises ‘the Act on Preventing of Transfer of Criminal Proceeds’. recently reported on how this affects bitcoin exchanges as well as their customers. To comply with the rules set forth in the bill, exchanges are introducing stricter know your customer (KYC) procedures.

Accounting Uncertainties

Nikkei Asian Review reported on Wednesday that the bill “poses an accounting dilemma” for Japan’s early Bitcoin adopters. The current Japanese accounting standards do not address digital Japan Prepares to Recognize Bitcoin as Method of Payment on April 1currencies so there is no guidance on how to report them properly for tax purposes.

Therefore, many people and companies simply leave their digital currency holdings off their books. Those who report them often mark their bitcoin holdings as “inventory” on their balance sheets. Issuers usually report them as a “liability”. However, the lack of standards means, “there is a risk that companies that hold virtual currency could turn out to have distorted valuations or that huge losses surface suddenly”, said Chikako Suzuki, a partner at Pricewaterhousecoopers Aarata. Nikkei Asian Review wrote:

The Accounting Standards Board of Japan decided Tuesday to begin consideration, expected to take six months, of a framework for treatment of virtual currency.

What do you think of the new Japanese bill to recognize Bitcoin? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

Why not keep track of the price with one of’s widget services.

The post How Japan Prepares to Recognize Bitcoin as Method of Payment on April 1 appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Market Enabler Exchanges See Blockchain as New Revenue Play

At a conference in Budapest this week, financial industry execs revealed shifting views on the best use case for distributed ledger tech.nSource

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Chain and Thales Interlock for Blockchain Key Security Solution

French cyber-defense and aerospace firm Thales has launched a new integration with blockchain startup Chain aimed to boost blockchain security.nSource

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Blockchain Platform MultiChain Enters Beta with 15 New Partners

Private blockchain platform MultiChain has entered beta phase as it adds 15 new members to its partner program.nSource

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How to Make Profit Basic Rules for Beginners in Bitcoin Trading

n n n n Constant variation in price offers an opportunity for investors to make a profit by trading Bitcoin, either as a long term investment or in a speculative short term pattern.n

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