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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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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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Redditmarket now accepting Bitcoin

Redditmarket, the official store for Reddit-branded items, has started accepting Bitcoin.

Ranked 25th among the most popular websites in the world (10th in the U.S.) according to Alexa.com, Reddit had planned to create its own digital currency, “Reddit Notes,” but the project suffered a blow after the lead developer was fired last month.

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Darkcoin could be rebranded to aim at mainstream adoption

Darkcoin core developer Evan Duffield believes that Darkcoin should go through a “rebranding” to increase its reach. In a post published today on DarkcoinTalk, Duffield noted that the name Darkcoin “doesn’t reflect the true essence of the project anymore,”  and “is going to need a friendly branding that’s compatible with mass adoption.”  He also announced that “Dash” could be a possible alternative.

A long discussion followed the announcement in the forum, with many members regretting the potential loss of the cultural identity of the Altcoin, and others agreeing on the fact that the “dark” name evokes underground or illegal activities that could refrain standard users from using the coin.

Duffield insisted that the original idea behind Darkcoin was “to compete against Bitcoin” and “to solve some of its issues.” According to him, a new architecture, “supporting billions of transactions per day” is possible for Dash/Darkcoin, along with “a blockchain much more anonymous than Bitcoin’s, a very low blockchain bloat, and some very, very low transactions fees allowing the micro-payment revolution to begin.”

As of today, Darkcoin (DRK) ranks 5th on CoinMarketCap, with a market capitalization of $18.7M.

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Dogecoin-friendly videogame VoidSpace receives $1M funding

The Canadian Media Fund confirmed their intention to provide VoidSpace with one million dollars in funding,  “putting the total funding for the second phase of development at over $1.3 million,” said lead developer Nikolas Gauvreau.

VoidSpace intends to become a one of its kind massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) happening in the Void, “an area of space where the player’s character has been unwittingly catapulted via a network of wormholes,” with players “fighting for the few available resources to find their way into this desolate place.”

One of the specificities of the game is the possibility for players to perform Dogecoin transactions between each other. “This will allow players to have in-game businesses that actually make them real money,” explained the developers, giving many examples of virtual businesses that could be created inside the game: players can rent their infrastructures to other players, sell services as a defence contractor, ferry smaller ships inside of larger carriers for a fee, start a bank that secures in-game currencies, or even provide loans and credit with interest…

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In-game Dogecoin transactions (VoidSpace prototype)

Additionally, players will be able to create and manage official player organizations, whose main goal will be “to attract new members because of the ‘strength in numbers’ concept that is prevalent throughout the game’s design.” “As player organizations stabilize and grow, we expect to see them becoming ‘big business’ because of the ties VoidSpace has with real-world economies via Dogecoin,” described the developers.

The game is only available as a working prototype for now.

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ZiftrCoin officially launched

A few weeks after being successfully crowdfunded, Ziftr’s crypto-currency has now been officially launched.

Targeting e-commerce and aiming at a fast global adoption by non tech-savvy users, Ziftrcoin comes with a “$1 Minimum Redemption Value,” meaning that, when spent in Ziftr’s merchant network, each coin will be worth $1. The company behind the coin, Ziftr, announced it will give away 300 million ziftrcoins to the first 8 million users in 2015.

On the technical side, ZiftrCoin is a Proof-Of-Work currency using a specific “Proof of Knowledge” principle, where the miner may optionally prove knowledge of transaction data while mining to get a slightly higher reward (5%). For now, through a simple, one-click procedure, the coin can be CPU-mined with a standard computer, directly from the wallet. Wallets are available for Windows, Mac OS, Linux and Android, with an iOS version coming soon.

ZiftrCoin should be listed soon on two exchanges, Cryptsy and Melotic.

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