Author Archives: C.d

Bitcoin to be added in French dictionaries

The word “bitcoin” will be included to the 2016 edition of the two main French dictionaries, “Le Petit Robert” and “Le Larousse”. Considered as a common noun, the entry will be described in the Robert as “a monetary unit used on the Internet and independent from the banking networks.”

Among the other words to be added in these popular dictionaries are “Big data”, “Captcha” and “Selfie”.

 

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NeuCoin sets a record with 100 million coins sold in 3 days

NeuCoin, a forthcoming altcoin, has achieved a new milestone by convincing buyers to acquire all the coins available during its first public crowdsale.

A bit more than 100 million neucoins have been bought by more than 1,000 people, at a starting price of 25,000 tokens per Bitcoin, for a total of 3,637 BTC, or about $850,000 as of today.

The presale, which lasted only three days, sets a new record in the crypto-currency world and is another clear success for the team behind NeuCoin, after closing an initial $2.25 million round from private investors earlier this year.

The proof-of-stake coin should officially be launched in July 2015, with a focus on micropayment solutions and the creation of different services, such as MyNeuCoin.com, an easy-to-use online wallet, GetNeuCoin.com, a consumer on-boarding website, as well as a cloud mining service.

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RippleWorks set up to help promising companies in developing countries

Ripple Labs announced today the formation of RippleWorks, a foundation “committed to accelerating the pace and scale of promising social entrepreneurs building paths out of poverty worldwide.”

A non-profit entity based in Silicon Valley, the organization will be based on an immersive program pairing startup veterans with promising companies in developing countries. “RippleWorks experts volunteer their time to help entrepreneurs solve business-specific problems to accelerate scaling and help these global entrepreneurs solve world issues,” explained the creators of the foundation.

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Romit enables low-cost international money transfers

Proposed par Robocoin, Romit is a “fully automated cash-to-cash remittance solution,” allowing people to conveniently send and receive money.

Any business with a Web-enabled kiosk or cashier can offer its customers the ability to send money worldwide, using Bitcoin. The company announced that kiosks are already available in 20 locations, in the U.S., Hong Kong, Romania, and Italy, and partnerships are on their way to increase the availability of the service, “in major convenience store networks, pawnshops, and even a state-owned bank, while targeting the Philippines, India, Mexico, and other remittance-heavy markets.”

romit

Romit directly competes with existing services centered on small, person-to-person, international money transfer, such as Western Union and MoneyGram. Thanks to the blockchain technology, the transfers can be much faster and much cheaper, as advertised by the company, comparing the fees for different amounts sent overseas: sending $100 from the US to the Philippines will cost $4 – more than three times less than with conventional services.

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Vitalik Buterin on Ethereum

Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Bitcoin Magazine and founder of Ethereum, answered to questions in an “Ask me anything” session on Zapchain.

Assuring that the long awaited first phase of Ethereum is “coming very very soon”, the 20 years old developer explained that “one of the misconceptions about ethereum is that it’s a currency and the whole point is to speculate on it just like any other ****coin. That’s not true; the ‘currency’ is just there for plumbing. Ethereum is really meant as much more of a general-purpose decentralized application platform, containing a full suite of tools (decentralized messaging, blockchain, distributed hash table) for building ‘dapps’ in.”

“I describe Ethereum to lay audiences as ‘a magic decentralized computer that is guaranteed to do what you program it to do, with very low downtime risks or third-party trust required,” he added. And when asked about the relation between Bitcoin and Ethereum, he noted that “Bitcoin works decently well as digital gold,” and added that the two protocols are not really in competing with each other: “I see us as being in a somewhat different space from Bitcoin. Bitcoin focuses specifically on the digital money/payments niche; we are at the core a highly abstracted platform for any kind of decentralized applications.”

He also gave details about the forthcoming developments that should be released this year (“The Ethereum client, Mist, is a fully featured ‘browser’ for decentralized web applications; you can use decentralized applications (‘dapps’) from inside of Mist just like you can interact with websites in a regular browser. The plan is also to integrate a decentralized private message-passing network, ‘Whisper’, a distributed hash table for content storage, ‘Swarm’,”), concluding that Ethereum will essentially form a “complete suite of tools for building what might be called ‘the web without servers’.”

Buterin emphasized the need for decentralization with a few examples, including identification. “I think that the current regime of having to ‘sign in with Google/Twitter/Facebook’ to everything is simply insane, and have even made the point that if this continues 10 years from now it may be harder to change identity providers than it is to change countries,” he wrote.

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NEM officially launched

NEM (New Economy Movement) has officially begun on March 31st. A new altcoin and blockchain infrastructure with an ambitious agenda, NEM intends to become an innovative, decentralized platform, offering a blockchain-based multisig solution.

The platform will allow to send and receive payments quickly and securely, to send and receive encrypted messages, to buy, sell and trade assets or to create smart contracts. Most importantly, anyone will be able to issue his/her own coins on the NEM network.

In terms of mining (called “harvesting” here), the crypto-currency itself is based on a “Proof-of-Importance” consensus algorithm: the higher your importance, the higher your chance to be allowed to calculate a block, and harvest the fees inside that block. The importance is adjusted depending on several factors, including the number of transactions already made and with whom they have been made.  If no transactions happened before, the algorithm is similar to a standard Proof-of-Stake mechanism.

The official website for the project is at nem.io, with an official forum on forum.ournem.com. The coin should be listed soon on several exchanges for trading, under the ticker XEM.

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New association set to modernize Real Estate through Bitcoin

The newly formed “International Bitcoin Real Estate Association” (IBREA) intends to “take real estate from the 17th to the 21st century” with the help of Bitcoin. “By using Bitcoin, we can reduce costs, stamp out fraud, speed up transactions, democratize investing, increase financial privacy, internationalize markets, reemphasize equity, and make real estate a liquid asset,” explained the founders.

The association will work to establish new standards for the real estate industry, and to implement solutions for payments, escrow, and titles on the blockchain. IBREA’s first corporate member is iNation, a company created earlier this year in order to allow the storage of legal documents inside the blockchain. The company’s co-founders are members of the IBREA board.

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NXT wallet for mobiles

After a few initial beta releases, a stable version of a NXT client for Android (1.0.3) has been released and is available for free on Google Play. Some iOs and WinPhone versions of this NXT mobile client are on their way too. The whole project is Open Source.

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Neteller absorbs Skrill and embraces Bitcoin

Optimal Payments, the parent company of Neteller, has announced that it will acquire one of its main competitor, Skrill.

A global provider of online and mobile payment processing services, Optimal Payments has customers in 200 countries and processes “billions of dollars each year.” Skrill has 36 million account holders, also sending and receiving money worldwide in 40 currencies. The deal between the two former competitors, valued at $1.2 billion, will create “a global tech champion in the fast growing digital payments space,” reads the press release.

Optimal also announced a partnership with Bitpay, allowing customers to top up their accounts by exchanging Bitcoin into any currency offered by Neteller. “This makes Optimal Payments one of the first major financial institutions to facilitate digital currency transactions on a global scale,” noted the company.

These two major announcements are of particular interest for poker players and online betting fans, Neteller and Skrill being the most widely used solutions to deposit and withdraw money to and from online gaming sites. Most online poker rooms and sport betting websites can now easily allow their customers to use Bitcoin as a deposit method, and a closer integration with the crypto-currency can be expected in the near future.

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Ziftr launches a multi-coins Payment Platform

Ziftr has announced the launch of ZiftrPay, a new crypto-currency payment platform for merchants.

Part of the Ziftr ecosystem formed by ZiftrCoin, ZiftrWallet and ZiftrShop, the new service includes the ability for commerces to accept several crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin and ZiftrCoin, with additional altcoins to be added soon. Merchants will be able “to receive payouts in cryptocurrency, cash or a combination of both.”

ZiftrPay will also work as a customer loyalty program. “All merchants will receive free ziftrCOIN digital coupons to give to their shoppers to incentivize them to use cryptocurrency, a low-cost, low-risk alternative to credit cards,” added the company, confirming that “each ziftrCOIN will have a minimum redemption value of $1.”

The company is now working to onboard a first group of merchants, with the goal of reaching “a critical mass of ZiftrPay merchants in time for Black Friday/Cyber Monday 2015.”

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Darkcoin officially rebrands to Dash

After a few weeks of discussion and a public logo contest, Darkcoin has officially become “Dash”, from today on. The idea of this rebranding is to make the altcoin more accessible to end users, with a less “underground image,” and a name referring to “Digital Cash.”

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A new official website has yet to be announced, but the main forum devoted to Darkcoin/Dash is now DashTalk. The name change has initiated some bitter talks on possible conflicts between Dash and Dashcoin, an existing, cryptonote-based altcoin, launched last summer.

The price of the coin has strongly increased in the past days, Darkcoin/Dash now being listed as the 4th strongest crypto-currency on CoinMarketCap, with a market capitalization close to $27 million.

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ProTip, a Peer-to-Peer Tipping solution, starts raising funds

ProTip aims to become a universal tool allowing content creators to be easily tipped by their visitors.

Developed as an Open Source project, the tool will work from the browser, retrieving Bitcoin addresses on Web pages and sending automatic weekly tips based on the time spent by the internaut on all pages he/she visited.

The team has started a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, hoping to raise $50,000 by the 15th of April.

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Online shop to redeem Paycoin at $20 each

Announced today on HashTalk, Gaw’s official forum, Coinstand is a new online store accepting Paycoin only. After obtaining an invite code, users in the U.S., Canada and U.K. are able to buy any goods there, while the paycoins they use are valued at $20 each – about 20 times today’s value of the coin on most exchanges.

According to Josh Garaza, Gaw’s CEO, the shop features “more than 5 million products,” ranging from candies to computers or lawnmowers. “GAW does not own or have a partnership with CoinStand,” he added, explaining that “a number of people volunteered their time and resources to make it happen.”

Considering Paycoin troubles in the recent past, where many users felt abused when Gaw failed to maintain a value of $20 per coin, the opening of Coinstand has received a somewhat lukewarm welcome. In some forums, people tend to see it as “a new scam,” while users in HashTalk are confirming they were able to buy expensive products, such as MacBooks, for a few dozens of paycoins. Right now, 1 Paycoin (XPY) is traded at $1.19 on Bittrex.

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Alexandria, a distributed library, to launch in beta

Alexandria, created by Blocktech, intends to become a distributed library for sharing and preserving art, history and culture.

“What Bitcoin does for money, Alexandria aims to do for content publishing and distribution by removing central points of failure and creating incentives for users around the world to contribute to it,” explained the developers, adding that anyone will be able “to self-publish anything, including videos, music, books, 3D printable, recipes, and more, with a complete control over how their work is published and monetized.”

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The project will take advantage of several distributed technologies, including BitTorrent and blockchains. As of today, the developers have chosen Florincoin, an existing Altcoin characterised by fast transactions and the ability to include messages in transactions, as the main token used within the library. “In order to share content or send tips for media you’ve enjoyed, you’ll need a Florincoin-QT wallet running in the background,” said the team, “but later releases will include a simple exchange process so that you can start from other popular cryptos.”

Alexandria will launch in beta very soon, with apps for Linux, Mac OS X and Windows.

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IBM may embrace blockchain-based technologies for traditional currencies

According to Reuters“IBM is considering adopting the underlying technology behind Bitcoin, known as the ‘blockchain,’ to create a digital cash and payment system for major currencies.”

“The objective is to allow people to transfer cash or make payments instantaneously using this technology without a bank or clearing party involved,” reads the article, referring to “a sort of a bitcoin but without the bitcoin.”

Although the news has not been officially confirmed yet, IBM has expressed interest in Bitcoin and blockchain-based technologies in the past months, describing a possible use of the blockchain to foster the development of the Internet of things.

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