What Bitcoin Did #52 Exploring Crypto Narratives With Nathaniel Whittemore

Source From https://letstalkbitcoin.com/blog/post/what-bitcoin-did-52-exploring-crypto-narratives-with-nathaniel-whittemore

‘œThe business model for surveillance, which can be used for ill, is advertising.’

‘” Nathaniel Whittemore

Interview location: Skype

Interview date: Wednesday 28th Nov, 2018

Company: NLW & CO

Role: Lead

The crypto industry is blessed with many smart thinkers and content producers. Across Twitter, Medium, news sites and blogs there is a regular supply of thought pieces and analysis where contributors speculate on the future of the industry.

There are often opposing views which can stretch to disagreements and impassioned debates. Keeping up with all this content can be difficult, which is why Nathaniel Whittemore’s Long Reads Sunday has become an essential follow for anyone in the industry.

Nathaniel carefully curates all the news, articles and discussions into a super thread of threads on Twitter where he carefully knits together the narratives from the week into a coherent story.

Nathaniel came on the podcast this week to discuss Long Reads Sunday and other key narratives, from the problems with crypto marketing to how technology is advancing faster than society can adapt.

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#263 Justin Drake: Ethereum's Audacious Roadmap to Build a True World Computer

Source From https://letstalkbitcoin.com/blog/post/epicenter-263-justin-drake-ethereums-audacious-roadmap-to-build-a-true-world-computer

The Ethereum vision has always been to create a world computer. But its scalability and performance limitations have meant that it has fallen far short of that vision. Yet, work on scaling Ethereum has exploded in breadth and complexity over the past years. From variants of PoS, to Plasma / Plasma Cash, sharding, EWASM, BLS signatures, everything has been on the table. While confusing on the surface, underneath a coherent vision for a new Ethereum that will scale near infinitely has emerged.

We were joined by Ethereum Researcher Justin Drake to discuss the Ethereum Serenity vision, its core components and the roadmap ahead. A particular focus was the beacon chain, the role of randomness and Verifiable Delay Functions.

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • Justin’s previous project building on top of Open Bazaar
  • Why he made the switch from application development to Ethereum consensus research
  • The high-level vision for Ethereum 2.0 / Serenity
  • The Ethereum Serenity roadmap to scaling the world computer by 1m times
  • The crucial role of the beacon chain
  • The difference between Ethereum Serenity and Polkadot
  • The role of randomness in making Ethereum Serenity work
  • The limitations of existing trustless sources of randomness
  • How Verifiable Delay Functions can be used to create better randomness
  • The Ethereum Foundation plans to develop an open-source VDF ASIC

Links mentioned in this episode:


  • Azure: Deploy enterprise-ready consortium blockchain networks that scale in just a few clicks

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Epicenter is hosted by Brian Fabian Crain, Sƒbastien Couture, Meher Roy & Sunny Aggarwal.

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LCX Now Licensed to Provide Crypto Trading Services in Liechtenstein

Source From https://news.bitcoin.com/lcx-licensed-crypto-trading-services-liechtenstein/

LCX Now Licensed to Provide Crypto Trading Services in Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein cryptocurrency exchange LCX has been granted a license to provide crypto trading services for utility and payment tokens. The exchange will be offering four main crypto services including a custody service and a fiat-to-crypto exchange in partnership with Binance.

Also read: Indian Supreme Court Moves Crypto Hearing, Community Calls for Positive Regulations

A Regulated Exchange

LCX Now Licensed to Provide Crypto Trading Services in LiechtensteinLCX announced on Tuesday that it has been granted “a business license of the Liechtenstein Ministry of Economic Affairs to conduct its business in Liechtenstein (Gewerbebewilligung).”

An LCX representative told news.Bitcoin.com:

With this license, we got the permission from the regulator to provide crypto exchange trading services for utility and payment tokens. So, we can offer an exchange to investors, to safely trade utility and payment coins (stable coins for example), that is approved by the regulator.

LCX Now Licensed to Provide Crypto Trading Services in LiechtensteinThe representative added that LCX can now offer “services that other crypto exchanges offer … in a regulatory compliant manner.” As a regulated exchange, LCX says that it will apply the “highest technology standards for KYC [know-your-customer] and AML [anti-money laundering] to safeguard fulfillment of all regulatory requirements for AML and KYC.”

The Liechtenstein Blockchain Act defines three different types of tokens: utility, payment, and security.

“We also want to offer security token trading to our clients,” he emphasized, noting that LCX has increased its nominal capital from 100,000 CHF (~$100,400) to 1,000,000 CHF in order to apply for additional licenses, such as the Financial Market Authority (Fma) license, to be able to trade security tokens and offer other regulated services.

Upcoming Services

The company plans to offer four key products. One is a trading platform for security tokens and other cryptoassets. The second is a crypto custody service called LCX Vault.

LCX Now Licensed to Provide Crypto Trading Services in Liechtenstein

LCX Now Licensed to Provide Crypto Trading Services in LiechtensteinThe third is called LCX Terminal which integrates the APIs of major exchanges — such as Binance, Bittrex, Coinbase, Poloniex, and LCX’s own exchange — into a single trading desk. This product recently entered the closed-beta phase. The company described it as “a trading desk for crypto assets equipped with portfolio management, analytics platform, auto trading functionality and audit reporting — [an] integration of major exchanges.”

The fourth is a fiat-to-crypto exchange unveiled in August in partnership with Binance. This exchange will offer the trading of Swiss francs and euros against major cryptocurrencies.

The LCX representative explained to news.Bitcoin.com:

The moment we decide we’re ready to integrate our exchange into the terminal we can go public with this product … All other products are in development and will be announced and made public in the near future.

Furthermore, he noted that LCX’s exchange services “can be offered in a global manner,” adding that “we will be setting new standards in terms of KYC and AML, which every client of LCX should pass.”

What do you think of LCX’s plans to provide crypto-related services? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock and LCX.

Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post LCX Now Licensed to Provide Crypto Trading Services in Liechtenstein appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Coinbase Launches Zcash Trading Services on Coinbase Pro

Source From https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/coinbase-launches-zcash-trading-services-coinbase-pro/

Coinbase Launches Zcash Trading Services on Coinbase Pro

Popular cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is launching Zcash (ZEC) trading on its professional trading platform Coinbase Pro. The announcement made via Coinbase’s blog page states that inbound transfers of the currency will begin at 10 p.m. PST on Thursday, November 29, 2018, though early deposits have already begun.

The blog reads, “Once sufficient liquidity is established, trading on the ZEC/USDC order book will start. ZEC trading will initially be accessible for Coinbase Pro users in the U.S. (excluding New York), the U.K., the European Union, Canada, Singapore and Australia. Additional jurisdictions may be added later.”

At press time, ZEC is not yet available on Coinbase.com or on the company’s mobile apps. The blog says a separate announcement will be made once ZEC is active on these platforms.

Zcash is a cryptocurrency that offers users additional privacy. The asset comes in two forms: shielded and transparent, with the former encrypting transaction information to ensure it remains unseen by third parties. Coinbase Pro says it will support deposits from both the shielded and transparent forms of ZEC, though only withdrawals to transparent addresses will be permitted.

“In the future, we’ll explore support for withdrawals to shielded addresses in locations where it complies with local laws,” Coinbase’s blog states.

The launch is set to occur in four stages. The first,“transfer-only” stage went live at 10 a.m. PST on Thursday, November 29, in which customers could begin depositing ZEC into their Coinbase Pro accounts. Posting limit orders can occur via the second, “post-only” stage, which will occur at 10 p.m. on the same date.

This stage will last for approximately one minute and will be followed by a “limit-only” stage, where limit orders will begin matching. Customers will have to wait an additional 10 minutes before the fourth stage, full trading, occurs. From there, customers will be able to submit market orders and enjoy full trading services through Coinbase Pro including limit, market and stop orders for ZEC.

Coinbase unveiled a new listing process last September with the goal of listing all assets that meet the company’s standards and comply with local laws as quickly as possible. As the cryptocurrency market contains thousands of unique assets, each currency listed undergoes a thorough inspection and usually only satisfies listing requests in a “jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction” manner, meaning certain coins may only be available to customers in specific regions for limited periods of time.

Since implementing its new process, Coinbase has gone on to list several new assets on Coinbase Pro including Basic Attention Token (BAT) in early November and ZRX, the token of the 0x protocol in October. Coinbase had been promising to potentially add these coins and others like it since March of 2018, saying that it was looking into placing several Ethereum-based tokens on all its trading platform in the “coming months.”

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

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Binance Terminates Services for Users in Belarus

Source From https://news.bitcoin.com/binance-terminates-services-for-users-in-belarus/

Binance Terminates Services for Users in Belarus

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has informed Belarusian customers that its services will no longer be available in their country. The announcement follows reports of similar restrictions for residents of other nations under economic sanctions, such as the Islamic Republic of Iran and Zimbabwe.

Also read: Russian Miners Sell Their Equipment Amid Market Plunge

Belarusians Lose Access to Global Exchange

The correspondence from Binance, currently the world’s largest digital asset trading platform by daily volume, does not specifically say when the restrictions will go into effect, Forklog reported. However, the exchange notes that they are related to the latest update in its Terms of Use (ToU) and urges Belarusians to acquaint themselves with the changes.

Binance Terminates Services for Users in BelarusUnder “Prohibition of Use” on the ToU page, the exchange explains that by accessing and using any of its services, customers acknowledge and declare they are not on any trade or economic sanctions lists, such as those prepared by the U.N. Security Council and the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Treasury Department (OFAC).

Binance says that it “maintains the right to select its markets and jurisdictions to operate and may restrict or deny its services to certain countries.” The exchange also insists on its stance that “prohibited users are not to use or access Binance and any of its services” and reserves the right to modify or change the terms and conditions of its user agreement at any time and at its sole discretion.

The announcement comes shortly after Binance imposed restrictions on other countries under Western sanctions. In November, several global exchanges, including Binance, cut ties with Iran, according to members of the local crypto community. Zimbabweans have also been informed that the exchange is unable to provide services in their country and have been told to withdraw their funds.

Binance Terminates Services for Users in BelarusGleb Kostarev, a representative of Binance in the Russian Federation, has confirmed the authenticity of the Belarus announcement. Speaking to Forklog, he also noted that the new restrictions would not affect Russian residents. But the different treatment of the two countries raises questions about the rationale behind the decision.

The two nations are both members of the Eurasian Economic Union, which forms a common market. They are also subject to U.S. sanctions. But while Washington is constantly expanding its measures regarding Russia, sanctions relief has been granted for nine major Belarusian companies in the past three years. In October, OFAC extended the waivers for another year. The move is part of a policy aimed at encouraging reforms in the country, which is a traditional ally of Moscow.

Belarusians Can Still Buy Cryptocurrencies

Binance Terminates Services for Users in BelarusBelarus is one of only a few jurisdictions in Europe that have adopted crypto-friendly regulations. The number of fintech entities operating in the country has been growing since President Alexander Lukashenko’s Decree No. 8 entered into force in March. The order legalized the business activities of crypto and blockchain companies registered with the Belarus High Technologies Park (HTP) in Minsk.

The circulation and exchange of cryptocurrencies, however, remain largely unregulated. There are no cryptocurrency exchanges in the HTP and Binance’s decision to restrict services in the country will make it even harder for Belarusians to buy, sell and trade coins.

Fortunately, other options are available. A number of online platforms offer exchange services in the post-Soviet space. Best Change, for example, lists dozens of verified online exchanges where crypto-enthusiasts can acquire and trade digital currencies, regardless of sanctions imposed by foreign powers or bans introduced by their own governments.

Binance Terminates Services for Users in BelarusMany platforms support popular payment methods such as Qiwi and Yandex Money, but credit/debit card purchases are also possible. Belarusians can order prepaid Mastercards from Belarusbank, a leading commercial bank in the country. Its Carte Blanche card supports deposits in four currencies — Belarusian rubles, Russian rubles, euros and U.S. dollars. The fiat funds can then be used to buy digital money on any of the Best Change-listed platforms supporting such transactions.

Peer-to-peer exchanges such as Localbitcoins are also available to Belarusians who want to trade their coins. And Crexby, a platform recently launched by Belarusians in the U.S. as the first Belarusian crypto exchange, recently told news.Bitcoin.com that it plans to introduce support for Belarusian ruble trades. The company is already in contact with government officials in Minsk to ensure compliance with local regulations.

What do you think about Binance’s move to stop services in Belarus? Tell us in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Belarusbank.

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Oil-Trading Blockchain Platform VAKT Launches With Shell, BP as First Users

Source From https://cointelegraph.com/news/oil-trading-blockchain-platform-vakt-launches-with-shell-bp-as-first-users

JPMorgan’s Quorum technology forms the backbone of the latest blockchain solution for major oil industry players Shell, BP and others.

Post trade management platform VAKT has launched its blockchain-based processing tool to an initial group of crude oil industry clients, a press release reports Nov. 29.

VAKT, which uses JPMorgan’s Quorum blockchain technology to run, has rolled out to BFOET crude participants. The press release reports that energy giants BP, Equinor, Shell, Gunvor and Mercuria are participating as the platform’s first users.

The companies will use the blockchain tool in tandem with their existing systems, VAKT planning a larger rollout in January next year. In future, the company aims to expand from oil to “all physically traded energy commodities.”

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the strength of response to the VAKT concept. Launching into our first market with such high-calibre first users is a transformational moment for us and the industry,” acting CEO John Jimenez commented:

“But it’s just the start: success for a blockchain solution depends on widespread adoption and we’re looking forward to seeing the ecosystem grow.”

“Collaboration with our peers and some of the industry’s key players is the best way to combine market expertise and achieve the scale necessary to launch a digital transaction platform that could transform the way we all do business,” Shell’s executive vice president of trade and supply Andrew Smith continued:

“Ultimately the aim is improved speed and security, which benefits everyone along the supply chain from market participants to customers.”

The major energy companies and banks participating in VAKT were announced earlier this month, while the partnership was first reported on as early as November 2017.

Throughout the oil industry, the benefits of blockchain are being discovered by multiple well-known names, with a similar project dubbed komgo SA debuting in September.

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What Bitcoin Did #51 The Future of Banking with Zac Prince

Source From https://letstalkbitcoin.com/blog/post/what-bitcoin-did-51-the-future-of-banking-with-zac-prince

‘œI think the term bank won’t be used so much when we are talking about banking services 20 years from now.’

‘” Zac Prince

Interview location: New York

Interview date: Wednesday 21st Nov, 2018

Company: BlockFi

Role: Founder and CEO

A sign of the maturing market is the growth of traditional financial products built for cryptocurrencies. Both the corporate and retail financial sectors understand the benefits of crypto, and thus a range of companies and institutions are bringing products to market.

One of these such companies is BlockFi who offer loans backed by cryptocurrencies. BlockFi recognised that there are crypto holders who want to use the value of their crypto without selling and therefore provide loans which are collateralised with Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ether.

BlockFi also recognises that the future of banking may be very different from the high street retail banking experience of today. The company is arguably a bank, if not, then they are at least a competitor, able to offer a growing range of financial products to a global customer base. While some people do not like stablecoins, BlockFi can utilise them to provide financial products to customers in emerging markets who want access to dollar loans.

In this interview, I chat with BlockFi Founder and CEO Zac Prince about why he is building BlockFi, what the future of banking with Bitcoin looks like and how BlockFi is building new products to service a financial world which includes cryptocurrencies.

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