At the beginning of November, Tatiana traveled to Las Vegas for the World Crypto Convention. There were a lot of interesting blockchain folks to talk to, but Michael Cernovich is a little different. For this segment, Tatiana is joined by Sasha Hodder, blockchain attorney and host of the Hodlcast podcast.
Cernovich is a controversial journalist, writer, and filmmaker. Michael has been on the activist scene for years, most recently in support of the 2016 Trump Election and he was instrumental in throwing of the Deploraball in DC. While some may not agree with his politics, most that meet him admit he is a “nice guy.” We certainly found him to be kind and interesting, especially in his efforts to support Lyn Ulbricht by sharing the Change.org petition with his half a million Twitter followers. We were very excited to learn (and get an early preview) of his upcoming film “Hoaxed” that exposes the media industry’s propaganda and the history of fake news.
Mike Cernovichis a journalist, author, and filmmaker. Cernovichhas reported everywhere from protests on the streets to the White House. Congressman John Conyers resigned after Cernovich uncovered documents revealing a secret sexual harassment settlement. Cernovich’s latest film,Hoaxed, explores fake news, and will premiere on October 20th in Los Angeles.
Bitcoin Trade Namibia (BTN), an emerging bitcoin marketplace, is trying to make things work for Namibians keen on investing in digital assets, even though it could take up to three days before buy orders are settled. However, in an industry where government forces crave control, the delay looks like it should be worth the wait.
BTN has adopted the know-your-customer and anti-money laundering requirements of the Bank of Namibia (BoN), the country’s central bank, giving it a chance of survival in an economy where the commercial use of cryptocurrency is banned.
“The idea is to provide a safe and secure on and off ramp for bitcoin for Namibians who have expressed increasing interest … in the cryptocurrency,” Tshuutheni Emvula, co-founder and chief executive officer of BTN, told news.Bitcoin.com. “We are of the opinion that bitcoin, at its fully realized potential, provides the Namibian entrepreneur and consumer the perfect open payment mechanism for a digitally connected world.”
Emvula said it will be “a long road” before that is achieved, but “it starts with Namibians being able to participate in the network’s activities by actually owning BTC. Through direct ownership, greater interest in BTC and its ecosystem on behalf of the owner is incentivized.”
Founded in March this year by a group of software developers, Bitcoin Trade Namibia touts itself as a “non-speculative BTC marketplace,” that allows people in the southern African country a platform “that does not work as an exchange” to buy and sell bitcoin using the local Namibian dollar.
Buyers transfer money to a BTN bank account number in exchange for BTC, which is sent to an address of their choice. The opposite is true for sales, on fees of about 2 percent for transactions that do not exceed 150,000 Namibian dollars (U.S. $10,500). The process for purchases can last up to 72 hours in the worst case scenario, although BTC delivery is generally completed within three hours of fiat deposit on the average. At press time, each bitcoin traded at 98,769 Namibian dollars (U.S. $6,913), a premium of about 9 percent on the global average price.
Refusing to discuss user numbers and traded volume, Emvula stated:
We do not keep or store any bitcoin on behalf of users. We do not have an open order book which allows users to trade bitcoin with each other. We provide buy and sell services on an individual client basis. However, BTN is working with institutional investors on issues of custodianship but these services are not open to our low volume and casual customers at this point.
Namibia officially banned the use of cryptocurrencies for commercial purposes in 2017. The Bank of Namibia did not specify penalties for violating the prohibition, but warned that “a local shop is not allowed to price or accept virtual currencies in exchange for goods and services.”
It said only that the Namibian dollar and South Africa Rand remained legal tender in the country, but remained open to possibilities offered by blockchain technology. Even though cryptocurrency-related activities remain very limited in Namibia, the central bank’s main concern centered around exchange control violations and issues of creation of money, which it said was its sole mandate.
Emvula, the BTN chief executive officer, believes BoN’s stance has been misunderstood. He detailed:
The myth that cryptocurrency is banned in Namibia is perpetuated by bad research and FUD. A look at the position papers released by the Bank of Namibia will correctly inform the reader that the bank warns Namibian nationals of the dangers of cryptocurrency due to their non-regulation. Nowhere do they mention that they actively prohibit the trading of cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin Trade Namibia has yielded to the KYC/AML requirements placed on operators of financial services by BoN, something that has clearly aided the platform’s cause in an economy where digital assets are operating under caution. On security, Emvula said: “Given that we do not store investor funds, other major vectors of attack would come in the form of risky traders and we ensure to review each of our trades in the relevant manner as directed by our compliance policy and Namibian law.”
What do you think about Bitcoin Trade Namibia’s business model? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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According to global statistics provided by Coinatmradar.com, there are now close to 4,000 cryptocurrency automated teller machines (ATMs). Moreover, there’s been a huge influx of bitcoin cash ATMs over the past year as there are now 1,200 BCH dispensing devices located around the world.
There are various ways people can purchase bitcoin cash and a slew of other cryptocurrencies around the world and one of them is through the use of ATMs. Digital asset dispensing ATMs have been popular since they were first introduced and, over the past two years, their worldwide growth has been exponential.
In November, data from Coinatmradar.com shows the metric will likely reach 4,000 ATMs very soon as the current number of ATMs is 3,993 machines worldwide. Additionally, there are 141,000 ATM-like services that sell cryptocurrencies through mobile payment terminals, vouchers, and even traditional bank ATMs. 1,200 machines out of the world’s 4,000 units allow users to purchase and sell the decentralized currency bitcoin cash.
The analytical website also details some interesting data concerning cryptocurrency ATM growth worldwide such as the fact that there are 6.7 crypto ATMs installed a day. This metric is based on the speed of installations over the last seven days and gauged by the calculations of the last two months. Over 71% of the world’s cryptocurrency ATMs reside in North America, while the second largest number of machines (23.5%) are located in Europe. This is followed by Asia (2.5%), Oceania (1.3%), South America (0.98%), and Africa (0.20%). The most bitcoin cash ATMs stem from North America, with 993 of them located on the continent.
Recent Study Suggests Cryptocurrency ATM Ecosystem May Grow Over 50% per Year
The biggest digital asset ATM manufacturer today is Genesis Coin which captures 32% of the market share of all machines. General Bytes comes in a close second with 29.2% and then Lamassu (10.9%), Bitaccess (5.4%), Coinsource (4.8%), and Covault (2.7%). Out of all the crypto ATMs worldwide, 61.7% of the machines are one-way devices, which means they only sell cryptocurrencies. Only 38.2% of all virtual currency ATMs are two-way machines, meaning that they not only sell cryptocurrencies but also buy them.
Cryptocurrency ATMs have spread like wildfire and operators and manufacturers do not appear to be slowing down anytime soon. For instance, Lamassu recently introduced a new line of machines. The company launched the “Sintra” series, which includes four models that support BCH, LTC, DASH, ETH, ZEC, and BTC. Furthermore, on Nov. 2, news.Bitcoin.com reported on Coinsource being the first crypto ATM provider to be awarded the Bitlicense to operate in the state of New York. Lastly, according to a recent study by research firm Marketsandmarkets, crypto ATMs will see a compounded annual growth rate of over 54%.
What do you think about the growth of cryptocurrency ATMs worldwide? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
GMO Internet, the Japanese technology and online finance conglomerate, presented its results for the third quarter of fiscal 2018 on Nov. 12. The presentation included new details about the performance of the Tokyo-listed group’s cryptocurrency-related businesses.
The presentation covers the operations of GMO Internet in cryptocurrency mining, exchange and payments. The company reported total quarterly revenue of 2.61 billion yen ($22.93 million) in the third quarter. It noted that the positive results came “just a year since the launch despite the harsh external environment.”
On the cryptocurrency exchange side of the operation, profit was up 34.4 percent quarter over quarter, from 0.55 billion yen in the second quarter to 0.74 billion yen in the third. It said it posted an increase in profit despite the fact that revenue from the exchange business alone fell slightly from 1.42 billion yen in the second quarter to 1.36 billion yen in the third.
GMO Internet also reported that customer accounts have been growing steadily, reaching 208,000 in the third quarter. However, the trading value has fallen from 220 billion yen to just 89 billion yen ($782.7 million) quarter over quarter.
Aiming For 800PH/s Within 2018
On the cryptocurrency mining side of its business, GMO Internet reported it has increased its human resources during the third quarter of the year. And this helped it increase mining revenue slightly to 1.23 billion yen in the third quarter, from 1.17 billion yen in the preceding three-month period. In contrast, the worsening external environment and increased depreciation costs drove profit down quarter over quarter, from a loss of 0.36 billion yen in the second quarter to a loss of 0.64 billion yen in the third.
The company reported it reached a bitcoin hashing rate of 674 PH/s during the third quarter, for both BCH and BTC. It said it aims to achieve a total of 800 PH/s within the year.
GMO Internet also said that sales of cryptocurrency mining machines have been postponed due to delays in shipments of needed electronic components. In addition, it announced that it is changing the ticker symbol of the yen-pegged stablecoin it launched during the third quarter from GJY to GYEN.
What do you think about the latest GMO Internet quarterly report? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and GMO Internet.
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The Bitcoin Cash Association (BCA) and Spendbch.io recently started a bounty to spread bitcoin cash (BCH) merchant acceptance in several Latin American countries. On Nov. 11, the BCA announced that more than 250 new businesses in Venezuela and Colombia are now being on-boarded to accept bitcoin cash.
Just recently, the BCA and Spendbch revealed a bounty program on the Bitcoincashers.org web portal. The Spendbch bounty offers funds to users who spread merchant adoption in Venezuela, Colombia and Mexico, and they can get paid for helping local businesses accept bitcoin cash.
The guidelines for earning BCH by spreading merchant adoption are fairly intuitive and do not take much effort. The first step is to introduce a business to bitcoin cash by setting them up with a wallet and teaching them how to use the currency. After a merchant decides to accept BCH, the bounty requires participants to tweet about the business on Twitter. Following that step, the merchant needs to fill out a form detailing information about its business, including its location. Bounty entrants must include valid BCH addresses with the forms, so funds can be sent after merchants are approved.
At the moment, the bounty is only available in Mexico, Venezuela and Colombia, but the BCA, which is dedicated to spreading BCH acceptance, plans to eventually roll it out worldwide. Since announcing the bounty and the official rules, the organization has reported that the campaign has been doing extremely well.
“More than 250 new businesses in Venezuela and Colombia are in the process of being on-boarded to accept bitcoin cash through the Spendbch Bounty program,” the community-driven BCH nonprofit explained on Twitter.
Mobilizing Bitcoin Cash Merchant Acceptance
Over the last few months, BCH merchant adoption has grown significantly in Latin America. Businesses accepting bitcoin cash have thus far been most highly concentrated in Columbia and Venezuela, according to the merchant acceptance platform Marco Coino. The creator of Marco Coino, Brendon Duncan, explained to news.Bitcoin.com back in October that a lot of recent growth has been derived from Columbia.
The bounty follows the BCA’s recent donation pledge to the charitable operation Eatbch on Oct. 24. The BCA has explained that it will donate $1000 to the Eatbch nonprofit, with the funds to be split between Eatbch South Sudan and Venezuela. The organization believes that donating these funds will help spur merchant adoption in these countries.
“This will also have a direct impact on adoption in these areas, especially as the projects develop further relationships with suppliers that accept BCH as payment, and therefore aligns fully with our goal of global adoption,” the BCA stated during the announcement.
What do you think about the BCA and Spendbch bounty? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Images via Pixabay, Bitcoincasher.org, BCA, and Shutterstock.
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“Countries are moving towards knowledge as their main source of income because we can’t rely, as a mining country or an oil country, just on our natural resources. We need to definitely take into account how technology is going to be part of the new Venezuela that we’re going to rebuild once this ends.”
Welcome to Season Two of Distributed Dialogues. This season was inspired by the Human Rights Foundation’s Oslo Freedom Forum, focusing on the intersection between human rights and decentralized technology. In each episode we’ll tell stories where basic human rights have been jeopardized, then present ways in which decentralized technology might serve as a tool for overcoming these challenges.
This episode is called ‘œThe Devil’s Excrement’; in it, we bring you the reality of Venezuela’s authoritarian government, what life is like under the veil, and what promises crypto may hold to unlocking a brighter future.
Music provided by: David Berges and pond5, available at www.pond5.com.
Distributed Dialogues is a BTC Media-produced podcast.