Latest News

Our Latest Updated News

Latest Updated News

Bitcoin Price Is Currently Sitting in Its Historic Top 2% Range

Bitcoin has only spent 63 days in its history where it closed above current price.This was the factoid posted by crypto-analyst Ceteris Paribus on Aug. 6, along with comparative data for selected altcoins.

Which goes to show that despite unwarranted concerns from those who feel that BTC price should constantly be parabolic, Bitcoin is in rather rude health. Certainly when it comes to dominating alts.

2 months of mayhem vs. a steady climb
Bitcoin has existed for 3870 days (3867 at the time of the tweet). So if only 63 days closed higher than the price on Aug. 6, that means that we are currently in the top 2% of days for Bitcoin price ever. That’s a sobering thought.

The vast majority of those 63 days, which closed higher, of course, are clustered around the all-time high of December 2017. Back then it was the peak of the ICO bubble, with mainstream media fuelling the fire beneath BTC price.

The other days came much more recently, in June and July this year, when bitcoin made its assault on $13,000. This followed a steady (though impressive) climb from bear-market lows of $3,200. Such a climb requires a bit of consolidation to ensure that growth remains sustainable and doesn’t run away with itself.

So the message would seem to be that we have nothing to worry about. And following a consolidation period, we could be set for further impressive gains.

Okay, Bitcoin is expensive but what about altcoins?
In comparison, the altcoins that were listed fared noticeably worse. Binance coin (BNB) came top of the rest, with 76 days closing above the current price, although that is based on a shorter history than many others including Bitcoin.

Litecoin (LTC) had racked up 273 better days following recent gains around its halving. Bitcoin Cash (BCH), XRP, and Ether (ETH) had all posted over 500 days on which they closed above the price that they were at on Aug. 6.

In other words, the market does not appear to be showing signs of an altcoin recovery just yet, particularly against BTC. Although some believe that there will not be another altseason as Bitcoin dominance — currently at almost 70% — will only continue to increase.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Latest Updated News

Market Rebound Boosts Adoption of Cryptocurrencies for Payments

The use of digital assets to make payments is growing, according to a recently published study. It reveals that cryptocurrency’s role as a viable means of payment has been expanding and this year’s market rebound has increased the turnover of crypto payments. The report suggests that debit cards linked to digital currency wallets will remain an important tool until wider adoption of direct cryptocurrency payments.


Crypto Payments Industry Expands With Growing Markets
The study highlights a general correlation between upward market trends and the expansion of the crypto payments industry. Its Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) increased 21% between 2014 and 2015 and jumped over 600% two years later. But even during the bearish 2018, when the price of major cryptocurrencies took a hit, the sector’s CAGR expanded by around 90% year over year. The recovery that started this year has had a positive effect and the rising volume of payments this spring indicates that the recession is over.

The industry assessment has been conducted by Crypterium, a payment solutions provider that recently launched a crypto debit card, one of the few products in this niche that’s available globally. The analysis examines the performance of leading cryptocurrency payment providers such as Bitpay, Coinsbank, Cryptopay, Spectrocoin, Wirex, and Xapo. It covers two main types of services offered on the market: those allowing merchants to accept digital currency directly and solutions enabling customers to pay with crypto assets through conversion to fiat.

Market Rebound Boosts Adoption of Cryptocurrencies for Payments
Statistical data gathered by Crypterium shows that the average value of transactions processed by the payment platforms stabilized during last year’s decline in a relatively narrow range between $1,000-2,000. The volume of crypto payments and the average amount have increased in 2019, reaching a seven-month high in April. The researchers believe that, helped by the crypto market recovery, the increasing number of payment providers in the sector which offer new solutions for both merchants and customers will help the industry achieve “gradual and sustainable organic growth.”

The report further identifies the regions that concentrate the most crypto holders who are using digital assets to make payments. The authors emphasize that the number of wallet addresses has been constantly growing and active wallets worldwide have reached 34 million in the first quarter of 2019, increasing by 44% just in the last 12 months. According to another study that news.Bitcoin.com covered in May, the figure is even higher – 36 million.

A key finding in the Crypterium analysis is that cryptocurrency payments are more popular in high-income nations in general. Based on data for trading and mining activity from the largest digital asset exchanges and mining pools, Crypterium has shortlisted the top 20 countries. Coins are increasingly used as a payment instrument in the United States, United Kingdom, Russia and China. The company concludes that their adoption is triggered by different factors depending on the jurisdiction. The most common reasons to trust cryptocurrencies include the desire to maximize efficiency in payments and the need to protect assets against hyperinflation.

To better understand why people choose decentralized coins over traditional payment methods like cash, fiat payment processors and bank cards, the researchers have analyzed various factors such as debit and credit card ownership, internet accessibility, mobile phone ownership as well as macroeconomic indicators including gross domestic product (GDP) per capita and share of shadow economy. Based on their qualitative and quantitative assessment, they have grouped the leading 20 countries in three categories: Innovators, Shadows and Survivors.

Market Rebound Boosts Adoption of Cryptocurrencies for Payments
The United States, Canada, Germany, France, England, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Japan, and South Korea are the so-called ‘innovators.’ They are characterized by deep penetration of banking and digital financial services and unrestricted access to mobile services. According to the authors, they offer the best opportunity for merchants to capitalize on increasing crypto adoption as most customers there have access to the internet and own a mobile device.

Medium to low income countries – Russia, China, Brazil, Poland, and Turkey – have been labeled as ‘shadows.’ Many of their citizens have lost trust in government institutions, banks and national currencies due to economic recessions. They often see cryptocurrencies as an alternative tool to make payments and receive income. The group of the ‘survivors’ includes Vietnam, India, Iran, Venezuela, and South Africa. Their populations have poor access to traditional banking

Latest Updated News

Indiana Governor signs wide-ranging piece of gaming legislation into law

Yesterday reportedly saw Indiana Governor, Eric Holcomb (pictured), put his signature to a wide-ranging piece of legislation that will allow local casino operator, Spectacle Entertainment, to relocate one of its two riverboat gambling facilities in the state onto dry land.

According to a report from The Indianapolis Star newspaper, House Enrolled Act 1015 was signed into law by Holcomb on Wednesday afternoon after versions of the legislation had earlier made it through the Indiana House of Representatives as well as the similarly Republican-controlled Indiana State Senate.

Spectacle Entertainment is reportedly responsible for the Midwestern state’s floating Majestic Star Casino Hotel and Majestic Star Casino Hotel II in Gary’s Buffington Harbor development and has long been lobbying for the right to move one of these operations to a new and more profitable land-based site located along nearby Interstate 94. The measure signed by 51-year-old Holcomb will now allow the operator to do just this in exchange for agreeing to forfeit one of its two casino licenses and pay a $20 million relocation fee.

However, the version of House Enrolled Act 1015 signed by the Republican governor will also compensate Spectacle by allowing it to potentially construct the state’s largest land-based casino featuring the firm’s full existing complement of some 2,764 licensed gaming positions.

Should the operator decide to act on this new legislation, The Indianapolis Star also reported that the operator’s forfeited Gary casino license would subsequently be relocated to a site in Vigo County and given to the winner of a competitive bidding process, which could include the previous holder, complete with a $25 million starting price.

Such a situation would represent the first time Indiana has allowed one of its casinos to relocate to a different county although any proposed move would only be allowed after voters had voiced their approval via a local referendum. To further sweeten the pot, House Enrolled Act 1015 purportedly moreover contains language that would grant tax breaks to the future operator of the Terre Haute-area facility potentially worth tens of millions of dollars.

As if all of this wasn’t enough, the just-passed legislation, which is due to come into force from July, has additionally legalized casino sportsbooks and mobile sports wagering for anyone over the age of 21 and accelerated a process that is to allow the state’s horseracing tracks to utilize live gaming tables.

Finally, the passage of House Enrolled Act 1015 has furthermore changed a stipulation that had previously permitted firms to simultaneously control only two of the state’s casinos or racinos. The recent ratification has purportedly upped this ceiling to six, which could ultimately result in one operator playing a huge role in Indiana’s budding gaming industry and contributing an ever-larger chunk of the sector’s aggregated tax revenues.

Latest Updated News

Bitcoin Mining: Mining Pools Vs Cloud Mining

2017 made the world stand up and pay attention to what was happening in the digital sphere. The word ‘Bitcoin’ was being heralded latest greatest advancement in both technology and finance. Despite the fact that the cryptocurrency had already been in existence for around 7 years at the time, its sudden fame saw Bitcoin soar to a value of just under $20,000 a coin within months, leaving a slew of newly minted instant multi-millionaires in its wake.

Since then, the blockchain and cryptocurrency have become hot topics of discussion. Through its ups and down, and most importantly fantastic development advancements both have gained tremendous traction in a number of international markets. Even though the currency dropped in value by over 80% a year later in 2018, the romance between investors and the decentralised platform was already deeply entrenched.

As a result, there is a lot of interest from a broad spectrum of both individuals and industries when it comes to Bitcoin and Bitcoin mining. In this article, we aim to explain the two most popular forms of crypto-mining and weigh up their pros and cons so that you can make a discerned decision on how best to go forward with your Bitcoin mining adventure. The two hot topics at hand are ‘Mine Pooling’ and ‘Cloud mining’.

MINING IN GENERAL
Bitcoin mining is undertaken on the internet. Sophisticated computer equipment called ASICs, made up primarily of graphics processing units, are used to mine mathematical algorithms from the web in order to create hash codes that are suited to extend the Blockchain. This is the way that e-currency is manufactured. From here it is sold at Bitcoin exchanges or used for trade.

ASICs are not cheap and can set miners back thousands of dollars. When one realises the processing power presented by certain Bitcoin mining companies, then you begin to realise that they have the power to out-mine independent miners every time a hash needs to be added to the chain, thereby making the job very difficult when isolated. In order to compete, you would need to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars into hardware.

Fortunately, both pool mining and cloud mining make it possible for budding miners to make some money on the trot.

WHAT IS MINE POOLING?
Certain company giants allow pooling of resources to hash out codes for the Blockchain. If you have a rig, you can register with a pool, where you will make use of your hardware to mine for them. You will, therefore, be working in tandem with hundreds of other machines in order to uncover the next sequential hash on the chain. The company will then pay you out in accordance with the amount of work your machine put in when the next coin is mined.

This shared interest will generally guarantee you some sort of kickback and is far more lucrative than going it alone in many instances.

ADVANTAGES OF MINING POOL
The advantage of pooling resources is that your chance of successfully mining coins is increased. While you’re sharing the reward you are cutting the risk down to a fraction of its potential too.

You are also able to unsubscribe from a pool whenever you so choose and join up with another one. This ensures that you can dictate your business and calculate your own risk.

DISADVANTAGES OF MING POOLS
The obvious downside to mining in this way is the cost involved. Both the rig and the running costs involved in mining with an ASIC is quite high. Naturally, you are limited to the quality of the equipment you can afford, which may only be able to push out a low stream of work.

WHAT IS CLOUD MINING?
Cloud mining is a cleaner way of investing in the mining process. By cleaner, we mean that you don’t have to purchase the rig or do any of the actual mining work, yourself. Instead, you link up with Cloud Mining organisations that sell off a percentage of their Bitcoin profits to people who help fund their exploits.

Cloud mining is simply Investing in the mining interests of another and then benefiting from the rewards like a partner in any company would. The percentages are worked out on how much you put in.

ADVANTAGES OF CLOUD MINING
Cloud mining is a much cheaper and hassle-free way of investing into the mining process, as you need not buy a rig, nor pay the electricity bill, nor follow up the processes involved in the work. You need only part with your money as an investment.

DISADVANTAGES OF CLOUD MINING
The risk involved in the success of the venture is purely yours. Once your investment is made, there is no guaranteed return. When pool mining, you always have options to mine elsewhere or sell your rig to recoup costs, but with Cloud Mining, this is not possible.

THERE IS NO PAYOFF WITHOUT RISK
Investors and miners must always remember that no investment is really worthwhile without a degree of risk. You need to just analyse the data given to you and weigh up which method of mining would suit your wallet and your lifestyle more.

Latest Updated News

iPhone Vs Android: Best Bitcoin Casino Platform

The online casino industry has been through a number of changes in its three-decade-long life. The latest trends have seen a massive upturn in the demand for user convenience and instant gratification. As a result, mobile gambling has become the most popular segment in the gambling market. The convenience of being able to play ‘on the go’ within seconds is second to none.

Another advancing segment in the industry is the Blockchain casino market, which is attracting more and more players from around the world, especially players from countries who have fiat currency gambling bans imposed. The ‘boom’ in the unregulated market has led to competition on all sorts of levels, including the gaming device level. Gamblers want the best out of their gambling experience and as a result are constantly on the look-out for the best device to play on. This is where great contention is brought to the fore by the two biggest device operating systems in the world. Each touts itself as the leading technology for gaming.

IOS VS ANDROID
Before you can start matching your preference with a suitable device, let us have a look at what iPhones and Android phones are:

1. iPhone

iPhone is a mobile telephonic device developed by Apple. These phones work on the one of a kind IOS operating system designed to appeal to trendy people looking for a change from the run of the mill machine. The multi-touch interface and direct game manipulation is of premium quality and allows for optimal casino game play and integration.

Unfortunately, IOS software does tend to date a bit more rapidly than Android systems and you will need to ensure that you keep up to date with the latest patches and updates in order to keep up to pace with the advances in tech in the iGaming sector.

2. Android

Android is not the specific name brand of an isolated mobile device, but rather an operating system based on JAVA programming that is used by multiple popular telephonic devices and tablet brands. Internationally, brands such as Samsung, Huawei and LG make use of the Android platform.

Android also works on direct touch manipulation gestures instead of command prompts, but services a market share of devices that outnumbers the IOS units by over double.

Android devices update software regularly, which ensures that devices have a longer shelf life, however, once your device gets to about 5 years of age, you will need to look at upgrading it to something newer to keep pace with advancing software trends in the gaming market.

MODERN CASINO SOFTWARE
The number of casino apps available for Apple devices is impressive, however current Bitcoin casino trends shows that players prefer gambling via their browsers.

The advancements in HTML 5 browser technology allows for rich game visuals and heavy data files to be simplified and integrated for lower powered devices, such as smartphones and iPhones. Being able to play directly from the browser has the added advantage of not having to download an application and clutter your phones with more widgets.

The Android Play Store does not have such a big software portfolio for casino gamblers, so most apps need to be downloaded directly from the casino’s site. Where Apple is the casino app leaders, Android dominate browser playing operations, thanks to Google Chrome and its superior abilities.

BITCOIN SOFTWARE.
When it comes to downloading a Bitcoin wallet app for your device, both Apple and Android are well catered for. Should you visit prominent Bitcoin exchanges like Coinbase, you will be able to link your wallet to either device after registering an account with them.

Latest Updated News

Busting the 6 Biggest Bitcoin Myths

There is much speculation around the subject of Bitcoin on the internet. Much of the speculation arises because people have been misinformed about the concept of cryptocurrency. Sometimes, the public has formulated opinions on Bitcoin based on hearsay, rather than from actual research.

As punters of the Blockchain, we have seen it fit to inform the public on some of the biggest Bitcoin myths out there. Once you are done with this article, you won’t only be well informed, but will also be suitably equipped to bust the myths when they arise in your social or professional circles.

Below are 6 common misconceptions about Bitcoin and the Blockchain:

1. BITCOIN ENCOURAGES CRIMINAL BEHAVIOUR
All that Bitcoin offers is privacy and security, the reality is that while some ne’er-do-wells will abuse this system there are far more honest, salt of the earth people who use the Bitcoin platform as a way to support their families.

A prime example of the amazing way in which the people of Venezuela are using cryptocurrencies as a way to survive while their government continues to fail them. Bitcoin has literally saved lives, and that shining light is worth all the challenges that come with a burgeoning platform.

2. HALF OF ALL BITCOIN IS CONTROLLED BY 1,000 PEOPLE
This is essentially the Area 51 of the Bitcoin world – there’s a lot of speculation and zero proof. There are currently over 20 million Bitcoin wallets in the world. Though, in theory, a few wallets can belong to one individual, the reverse could also be true. One wallet could hold the Bitcoin of several co-investors.

We know that exchanges work in this way. Often their cold wallets store thousands of peoples Bitcoin for them. Because cryptocurrency is not attached to human identities, but rather to BTC addresses, it is virtually impossible to tell how many people own Bitcoin in the world.

3. BITCOIN IS BAD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
While we’re used to handling the notes and coins associated with fiat currencies on a daily basis the sad reality is it takes tons of paper, material fibres, inks and metals to create. The environmental impact is large and ongoing given the need to constantly update and replace it to avoid fraud and wear-and-tear.

The digital nature of Bitcoin mining means that all that’s really needed over and above what we already use – i.e. our computers – is additional electricity. While it’s not ideal to use anything that impacts the earth nothing in society is 100% footprint-free, yet.

4. BITCOIN IS AN EXPENSIVE INVESTMENT
Though 1 Bitcoin is $5,155 at the time of writing, you are not forced to buy a full coin. A Bitcoin can be split down into 3 smaller percentages, which can all be bought at an exchange.

1 Bitcoin (BTC) equals:

1,000 mBTC
1,000,000 Bits
100,000,000 Satoshis
With this range of purchasable fragments of a Bitcoin available to you, the actual cost of your investment in Bitcoin is determined by your budget.

5. BITCOIN IS TO VOLATILE TO BE A GOOD INVESTMENT
There are a large number of over overnight millionaires who would disagree with this statement. 2017 proved to the world that Bitcoin was a great investment platform. This year (2019) alone has seen a climb of nearly $2,000 in the coin’s value. Admittedly, it is recovering from a big fall that occurred in 2018.

Yes, Bitcoin is volatile, but it’s because it is a product of decentralisation. The Blockchain is free of third-party manipulation and control, so its value and volatility is down to its popularity. The variance level may settle in the future, but for now, investors know what they are getting into and realise that Bitcoin is on an up.

6. BITCOIN TRANSACTIONS ARE EXPENSIVE AND TAKE TIME TO PROCESS
Though there are fees charged on Bitcoin transactions, they are minuscule compared to regular banking fees and forex charges levied on fiat currency transfers.

While the Blockchain may not be able to process as many transactions in a day as some of the fiat platforms can, it still processes faster than all wire transfers and EFT services, which can take up to 5 business days to verify a single transaction.

EDUCATION IS KEY TO OVERCOMING FUTURE HURDLES
Blockchain is a thriving platform that offers great business opportunities to many companies around the world. Qedger is a clear example of the success that ‘Bitcoin-First’ companies can enjoy online.

As such, Bitcoin offers far more pros than cons. Education in Bitcoin is the key to putting conspiracy theory behind us. The more the public is exposed to it, the less speculation there will be.

Latest Updated News

Blockchain Gaming Startup Announces Global Licensing Agreement With Formula One

Blockchain startup Animoca Brands announced it had signed a global licensing agreement with Formula 1 to publish a blockchain game based on the world-renowned racing series. The news was revealed in a press release from Animoca published on March 26.

Formula 1 — which reportedly draws ~1.6 billion television viewers across over 180 territories and engages 506 million fans worldwide — has reportedly signed a licensing agreement that will allow Animoca to publish a blockchain game “F1 Delta Time,” based on non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

The forthcoming blockchain game F1 Delta Time — the first phase of launch being set for May 10 — will reportedly have a collectible component based on NFTs, as well as a racing component that utilizes those NFTs.

The press release highlights the significant brand power of Formula 1 and the new licensing agreement’s potential to broaden consumer exposure to blockchain.

Since launching its inaugural FIA Formula One World Championship in the 1950s, Formula 1 now reportedly runs 21 races in 21 countries across five continents each season, with a reported 4.1 million annual race attendees.

Animoca claims the blockchain game will deepen fan engagement, and that the partnership aligns with Formula One owner Liberty Media’s aim to improve fan experience via significant investments in new technology.

To press time, Formula One has not responded to Cointelegraph’s request for comment on the development.

As previously reported, in December 2018, Animoca Brands entered into a licensing agreement with Atari — famous for being the developer of iconic video games such as Tetris and Pac Man. The rights agreement will allow Animoca to produce and publish blockchain versions of Atari mobile games “RollerCoaster Tycoon Touch” and “Goon Squad” in most jurisdictions worldwide.

In February 2018, Atari saw its share price skyrocket by over 60 percent after announcing that it would be investing in cryptocurrency.

During a recent appearance at crypto event Token 2049 in Hong Kong, Ethereum (ETH) co-founder Vitalik Buterin argued that blockchain applications outside of finance still face more difficulty gaining traction and acknowledged that developments such as NFTs and gaming can help broaden the technology’s outreach.

Latest Updated News

Online Gambling Trends and What to Expect in 2019

The online gambling industry can be likened to a rolling snow ball. The longer it rolls down a hill, the bigger it gets and the more momentum it picks up. Looking back to the early 1990s, when the first online casino games were developed, it seems like an eon ago when we see the stark contrast of innovation and technology compared to where we are today.

The continual evolution of the igaming sector is something exciting. With every year that passes, it keeps players and gambling enthusiasts in suspense of what might be introduced that year. Who could have ever foreseen the level of mobile gambling quality that we have today thanks to HTML5 technology, or could have guessed in the early days that we would be livestreaming play from live casinos on both our computers and our phones?

One can only look to the rest of the year with expectation and intrigue, as we reach the closing of yet another decade in the life of online gambling.

In this article, we will take a look at some of the things that we might expect in the trends of online gambling in the year ahead. This should be enough motivation for you to keep scouring the casino web for newer games and better innovations!

ONLINE SLOT TRENDS
Online slots are probably some of the most popularly played casino games around. The constant demand for added innovation and features keeps game studios on their toes. This has led to an influx of premium quality slots from all corners of the market.

In the slots segment we expect to see 3 advancements throughout the course of 2019:

More High Volatility Slots: It is becoming more evident that players are seeking the bigger win amounts over the smaller more frequent wins. People are tired of spending their money and time on small rewards. We have already seen an increase in High Variance slots introduced in the first few months of this year, and we can be sure that they will appear in greater frequency over the course of 2019.
Increase in Megaway Slots: Last year, there was an increasing number of gaming studios who bought the rights to make use of the MegaWay slot innovation. This is the feature where you do not know exactly how many pay ways will be in play from one spin to the next. Combined with its ever-increasing popularity amongst players and its embrace by suppliers, and we should see a big upturn in this type of slot being introduced throughout the course of this year.
Increase in Graphical Quality: With the increase in technology and the strong competition in the market, providers are being forced to up their game in the visuals department of slots especially. Players are wanting premium 3D slots with animations to boot, and why should they have to settle for anything less? Expect some truly pretty slots to be released this year.
.
MOBILE FIRST
There are very few games released these days that do not come out in mobile play at the same time as their online counterparts. The trend has already begun where some of the games are actually being released in mobile first and then only on desktop platforms.

The reason for this is that the main growth in the market is in the mobile segment at the moment. So, expect far more ‘Mobile First’ releases this year across the casino game portfolio.

VR INNOVATION
Players are always keen for newer innovations and trends in online gambling. There has been a hasty move towards more interactive gaming trends over the past few years. Live casino game play has caught on quickly because of its immersive quality.

Virtual Reality gaming has been worked on for a few years now, which promises the most immersive casino experience around. It has not really taken off for a few reasons. These include the fact that it is really expensive to invest in the gear to play VR gaming. Another reason is the fact that there are only a few games available to play in this format in comparison to the plethora of normal mobile and desktop games.

As the game portfolios grow and the innovation advances, we may see a real surge in popularity in this segment. We predict a steady growth in this market in 2019, with a decent number of titles coming forth from top game makers around the gambling globe.

BLOCKCHAIN CASINO GROWTH
As the popularity of crypto currencies like Bitcoin, Etherium and others is growing, we are seeing more and more players crossing over to play at Bitcasinos. People are wanting new outlets to spend their e-currency investments and as such crypto casinos have been embraced with open arms.

Crypto currency is both faster and safer to use at casinos for a number of reasons, but we find that much of the public is uneducated on this concept.

As more and more people become educated on crypto currency, we foresee a spike in Bitcoin Casino memberships. Though there are some great purely Bitcoin Casinos out there, like VegasCasino.io, the general playing public are calling for many fiat currency casinos to start embracing the crypto trend.

One of the big reasons that some of these operators may be reticent to join the Bitcoin bandwagon is for fear of regulation backlash from their licensors. Currently crypto casinos are not well regulated, but with forward moving steps by benchmark regulator leaders like the Malta Gaming Authority, we should see regulation hit the market soon, opening up the gates for all casinos to offer crypto Blockchain play.

INNOVATION INCREASE IN LIVE DEALER PLATFORMS
Live dealer platforms have been popular for about a decade now, with Evolution Gaming leading the way for all of that time. Masses of players in European countries, such as Britain and Germany spend millions every year on this immersive form of gambling. It is encouraging to see how quickly live gaming has actually evolved in the past few years. Much is still said to be on the cards for this segment of the industry. It has truly taken the brick and mortar casino experience and made it as close to life as possible for online players via livestream to your mobile or desktop machines.

A growing demand usually dictates the market supply in any industry, likewise in the live casino market, innovations are usually based on the needs and wants of the players. We should therefore anticipate in the near future to be able to group chat in game with the players at the table, as well as be able to video chat with dealers at smaller tables, to bring home a more personal touch.

Though some of these concepts may not see light of day this year, be assured that steps towards the end goal will start emerging from these platforms in 2019.

GAMBLING REGULATION CHANGES
Regulations in on gambling are improving all the time, to keep both casinos and players safe and in check. It is a very good thing for the public, because stricter laws mean a safer environment to play within. Introduction of new and improved gaming laws in 2019 is inevitable and should be welcomed by all involved.

KEEP YOUR EYES PEELED
There is a lot to look out for this year. Enjoy the advancements as they come and make good use of the new and improved innovations headed your way.

The future of online gambling in regulated markets seems set for success upon success in 2019, so be encouraged that your flutter time could become far more entertaining in the near future.

Latest Updated News

The DOJ, the Wire Act, and Why Bitcoin Matters Even More

In a recent statement, the Department of Justice tried to amend its position on the long-standing Wire Act definition of what constitutes online gambling. Their latest “opinion” has thrown off the clearly stated “any sporting event or contest”. However, this will not be without push back for several reasons.

Their latest review is clearly not in line with the actually stated wording of the Wire Act, and in order to pass it legally will require a rewrite of the actual wording of the Act.
The broadened opinion will now also include non-gambling activities such as lotteries, and even locally held fundraising events that use games of chance could fall foul of this definition.
Their latest review creates yet another conflict between what it legal at a State level and what it legal at a Federal level, since many individual States have both legal online lotteries and licenced online casinos which both conflict with the DOJ opinion.
Historically, these opinions result in very little action which directly affects the player. The reason being that the American judicial system relies heavily on precedents set by court rulings. To have one of their opinions faced and overturned in open court would be a serious blow to their standing and ability to manipulate the public.

To date, they have had virtually zero success in addressing online gambling head on. Their only avenue of attack was the sneaky implementation of the UIEGA as an add-on to the SAFE Ports bill back in 2006.

Here is a look at how that came to be…

THE CREATION OF THE FEDERAL WIRE ACT
When you pull back the shroud of history, you will uncover a dark time in the United States. A time when telephones had cords and the internet did not exist.

For the gambling industry, this was a far simpler time as well. If you wanted to gamble, you headed out to Las Vegas, Atlantic City or even an Indian Casino. The only thorn in the side was the invention of the telephone. As Graham Bell was working on patenting his latest invention, the sports bet community saw an opportunity to make bets without having to leave their homes.

To combat this nefarious use of a wonderful technology, the US Justice Department (DOJ) created the Interstate Wire Act of 1961 which read:

“Whoever being engaged in the business of betting or wagering knowingly uses a wire communication facility for the transmission in interstate or foreign commerce of bets or wagers or information assisting in the placing of bets or wagers on any sporting event or contest, or for the transmission of a wire communication which entitles the recipient to receive money or credit as a result of bets or wagers, or for information assisting in the placing of bets or wagers, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.”

With the interests of Las Vegas lobbyists well protected, and those brick-and-mortar casino taxes flowing into the US coffers, the DOJ patted itself on the back and went about its business. That is until 2011 when it needed to review the Wire Act.

THE INTERNET IS BORN
In 1983, a new piece of technology known only as TCP/IP was adopted and would ultimately lead to what became known as the Word Wide Web (which incidentally is why most websites are preceded by the prefix ‘www’).

This fledgling technology flourished as the adoption of home computers, then only really found in large corporations, started to rise. While it is almost impossible to find a home without a desktop computer, laptop or tablet today, back in 1977 Ken Olson, founder of Digital Equipment Corp, is recorded as erroneously posturing that “there is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”

It seems that even the DOJ didn’t take the power of the internet, and the advancements in technology, very seriously as online casinos operated in the US from 1998 and grew unchecked and unregulated.

In 2011, the DOJ did revisit the Wire Act and made the comment that communications that did not specifically meet the legal definition of “sporting event or contest” fell outside of the purview of the Act as it was written. This was simply confirmation of a 2002 Fifth Circuit Court ruling that acknowledged and ruled that the Act of 1961 very clearly “does not prohibit Internet gambling on a game of chance.”

THE UNLAWFUL INTERNET GAMBLING ENFORCEMENT ACT JOINS THE GAME
With their hands tied, legally speaking, the Justice Department tried to apply pressure to the online gambling industry with no real results. It was this legal stalemate that made the passing of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 a stroke of brilliance, a disturbing insight into the way in which bills can be manipulated and a sucker punch that the international online gambling community did not see coming.

2006 saw the US Congress approve the SAFE Ports bill, an act put in place to safeguard US ports from being owned by foreigners as a means to ensure national security. A noble cause if ever there was one. The Act covered such items as nuclear threat detection, port security, and maritime programs for the US Coastguard. However, in its final iteration it would also come to house the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIEGA).

UIEGA specifically “prohibits gambling businesses from knowingly accepting payments in connection with the participation of another person in a bet or wager that involves the use of the Internet and that is unlawful under any federal or state law.” How this was allowed to pass as part of the SAFE Ports Act is still a hotly debated topic in both the legal and gambling communities.

However, the die was cast, and the US had effectively cut off the online gambling community from a pivotal part of the experience making deposits and being able to withdraw winnings through government-approved deposit methods such as your local bank.

CRYPTO CURRENCY SAVES THE DAY
This Act did not make any claims about the legality of online gambling only stating that certain transactions were not allowable for registered banking institutions. Bitcoin and other crypto currencies are the perfect solution to this quandary. The decentralised nature of Bitcoin allows it to take deposits and process withdrawals without falling foul of UIEGA.

While the decision makers at State level decided how to respond to the recent opinion regarding the Wire Act and its interpretation of Bitcoin will continue to be the safest, cheapest and most secure means of enjoying online gambling for players across the globe.

Latest Updated News

6 Tips To Better Bitcoin Gambling

Gambling is a lot of fun when you head into it with a good understanding of the environment and how to get the most from it. This article is an encouragement to reassess the way in which you approach your online gambling time.

We provide you with 6 valuable tips to help you not only ensure you always have a positive online gambling experience but even tip the scales in favour of you winning at the casino. If you have never gambled before, or feel a little out of your depth when it comes to online gambling,

1. THE LEVEL HEADED APPROACH
Of course business is business and as such casinos are in it to make money. This is clear in the fact that the House odds always favour the casino. Don’t let short term losses at the casino drive you try regain them by making wild bets – keep a cool head and play smart.

It’s definitely not impossible to go against the odds, in fact, there are many successful gamblers out there who could a tale or two of great wins on their night out on the web. But it is best to go in level headed and regard the entertainment factor in a heavier light than the win factor.

2. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF AVAILABLE BONUS OFFERS
Playing with casino bonuses is a smart way to get a leg up in the market. This way, you need not spend as much to play. The bonus usually offers you some sort of free credits or spins to play some of the games spread at a casino. Once you have satisfied the game terms, you can collect on the wins you made with someone else’s money. What could be better?

Even though there are wagering terms involved in a bonus claim, free money is still free money. If you go in with the mentality that you are in it for the entertainment factor, then capitalising on a bonus is the obvious choice. This way, you are not putting your cash on the line. When you win, what has it cost you? Nothing! What have you gained? Everything!

3. SELECT GAMES WITH A LOW HOUSE EDGE
When people start gambling, many of them flock to the slot games to have some fun. While these are entertaining and require no skill to play, there are a host of games that offer you some better odds.

Games with the lowest house edge at online casinos include table games, such as Blackjack, Baccarat, 3 Card Poker, and even Roulette (if you play outside bets only). Good selections of these games carry a minimal house edge that can be as low as 1.5%. The reason for is that these games involve a little bit of skill when playing, unlike slots that are based more on the luck of the draw.

So, pick a skill game and learn the rules. Then grasp some of the strategies employed in playing that game at a casino and you will already have a great footing to win a lot more.

4. USE FREE PLAY MODE TO BECOME A PRO
Most casinos will allow you to play your favourite table and slot games for free, before having to place real wagers. This provides an awesome platform to get used to the game and develop a great strategy for when you are playing for real BTC.

The free games are set to react in the same way as the pay for games, so you will know quickly enough if it is a game that you would fancy a round or two with.

5. BANKROLL MANAGEMENT
Bankroll Management is probably the foremost art that a player needs to learn to master in order to maximise their chances at an online casino. It involves a tremendous amount of thought and self-control.

Players need to:

Strategize their playing budget.
They need to resist the urge to chase their losses.
They need to learn how to adjust their bets frequently, so that they catch that jackpot on a high stake.
They need to learn when to collect wins.

6. HAVE FUN!
Above all things… HAVE FUN! If you’re enjoying the games, interacting with support and generally getting lost in the experience then you’re already enjoying fantastic entertainment. A calm, cool, and collected mind is more likely to make the right decisions. In all things, have peace and the time at the casino will truly prove to be memorable – whether you land the big one or simply have tales to tell of the big one that got away.

ALL IN ONE CASINO EXPERIENCE

Latest Updated News

Bitcoin Extends Price Anniversary Rally to Hit $3,800 as Altcoins Surge Higher

Wednesday, Dec. 19 — Cryptocurrency markets continue a fresh rally with Bitcoin (BTC) touching $3,800 and leading altcoins to claw back their latest losses.

Data from Cointelegraph’s own price index, CoinMarketCap and Coin360 confirms the extended rebound, which began late Monday and continued through Tuesday.

After a slight correction, almost all of the top 20 assets by market cap began climbing higher again, with BTC/USD finding support at $3,750.

Last week, the pair had dipped as low as $3,130 amid warnings that a much larger fall could be imminent, potentially taking Bitcoin to $1,300 or lower.

At press time, the largest cryptocurrency was trading on major exchanges for around $3,830.

In altcoin markets, it was Bitcoin Cash (BCH) which led the resurgence, the asset having previously fallen more precipitously than most, to trade well below its August 2017 issuing price.

Having climbed two places higher in the market cap rankings since Tuesday, BCH traded around $117 at press time, capping 33 percent daily gains.

Later, Waves (WAVES) exceeded BCH’s growth rate, climbing 59 percent on the day to reach $4.34 and reenter the top 20.

Other impressive performances were displayed by IOTA (MIOTA), at 20.5 percent, TRON, at 18.5 percent, and Ripple (XRP) at 13.9 percent.

Ethereum (ETH), formerly the largest altcoin by market cap before being overtaken by XRP, also managed to scrape into triple figures after falling to its lowest levels in 18 months.

ETH had shown itself to be highly susceptible to Bitcoin’s own volatility in recent weeks, at press time nonetheless gaining over 11 percent to hit $104.

A year ago, BTC/USD had hit its record price of over $20,000 on some exchanges.

Latest Updated News

Austrian Government Supports Blockchain Cancer Research, Screening Tool

The government of Austria is supporting a U.K. cancer research company using blockchain to detect the disease. The government’s support comes as part of its drive to promote the technology, a press release shared with Cointelegraph confirms Nov. 10.
Lancor Scientific, which has developed a device to detect multiple cancer types and record screening results with smart contracts on blockchain, plans to open a research laboratory in the city of Graz.

Like Google’s Lymph Node Assistant, the cancer screening tool released in October using artificial intelligence (AI), Lancor Scientific’s offering aims for 90 percent accuracy.

Lancor will additionally work with local universities including the Technical University of Graz, the Medical University of Graz, and the Sigmund Freud University Vienna on international research projects, the press release states.

Commenting on the testing of blockchain implementations in the Austrian government, Austria’s minister of foreign affairs Margarete Schramböck highlighted blockchain as an area of considerable interest at state level.
“Blockchain is definitely one of the new important technologies,” she said, adding:

“In addition to Artificial Intelligence and Speech Recognition, it is one of the big issues we want to highlight in the coming period of the EU Presidency.”

The press release notes that the Austrian government will give Lancor Scientific grants over a five-year period for facilities, “research equipment, access to academic expertise and clinical trials management.”

Austria has traditionally sought to foster both blockchain and cryptocurrency innovation by remaining open to experimentation in legislation.

The capital, Vienna, has seen various attempts to broaden public awareness of the phenomenon including a “cryptocurrency bank” in 2017.

Earlier this month, neighboring Germany’s shift in stance over Bitcoin (BTC) saw a Munich-based casino ship in the country’s first Bitcoin ATM in several years over the border from Austria.

Meanwhile in September, the government moved to issue $1.35 billion in bonds on the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain.

Latest Updated News

The Making of the First US ICO Fraud Case

In common law systems, it is precedent that informs judicial approaches to new and previously unaddressed matters. The precedent that will likely shape the body of U.S. case law on fraudulent initial coin offerings (ICOs) is currently being forged in a federal court in the New York borough of Brooklyn, where a 39-year old entrepreneur, Maksim Zaslavskiy, has pleaded guilty to committing securities fraud.

The development that will most likely result in a landmark decision – the jury will gather in April 2019 to decide on a sentence – is yet another twist of a now 14 month-long effort, involving both the U.S. Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Previously, the process has already yielded a fateful ruling by a federal judge who in September established that securities law is applicable to ICO-related cases.

The case that is poised to become so consequential for the whole ICO space deals with two ventures that neither issued a token nor developed any blockchain-powered infrastructure: REcoin and Diamond Reserve Coin both only existed on paper. Yet it also makes perfect sense that the authorities first went after the most brazen instances of ICO fraud, the ones that hurt rookie retail investors the worst and inflicted the most reputational damage on the industry.

When the SEC first filed a complaint against Zaslavskiy in a federal court in September 2017, it was estimated that REcoin and Diamond Reserve Coin ICOs resulted in around 1,000 investors losing some $300,000. Having fallen for Zaslavskiy’s aggressive marketing campaign, these people were led to believe that they either invested in a digital asset that was backed by real estate located in developed countries (REcoin), or purchased a tokenized membership in an elite club for wealthy business people, with physical diamonds in the company’s custody underlying the value of tokens.

In fact, though, they were buying “worthless certificates,” as U.S. district attorney, Richard Donague, put it, on Nov. 15, 2018, Zaslavskiy admitted in his guilty plea: “We had not yet purchased any real estate.” He now faces up to 5 years in prison, pending the decision of a jury panel. The regulator is also filing a civil lawsuit against Zaslavskiy.

The Ukrainian city of Odessa, overlooking a scenic coastline of the Black Sea, is known for its vibrant spirit and unique culture. Throughout both the Imperial and Soviet periods of its history, the city has been home to a large Jewish community. As the final years of the USSR saw the liberalization of immigration policies, many Odessan Jews chose to leave for either Israel or the West. Born in Odessa, Maksim Zaslavskiy was 12 when his family relocated to the U.S. While Maksim was destined to make ICO history, his brother, Dmitry, chose a banking career and later became an executive director for Morgan Stanley.

Zaslavskiy’s social media pages, as well as websites of many organizations he ran at various points of time, were either deleted or became unavailable in the wake of the high-profile investigation into his activities. The main source of information about his pre-trial life is now the four-hour interview to the SEC representative that he gave in September 2017, of which the Fast Company magazine managed to obtain a transcript.

In 2003, Zaslavskiy received his degree in finance from Baruch College, followed by a LLM from Yeshiva University’s Cardozo School of Law three years later. He worked as an IT consultant for several banks before starting his own international business, whose nature is difficult to infer from the interview. Zaslavskiy also claimed to have been involved in real estate business since the age of 18, yet Fast Company’s investigation failed to verify his employment with the firms he claimed to have worked for.

According to the interview, the 2008 crisis became a major blow for Zaslavskiy’s business, further entrenching him in his resentment of the U.S. financial system. He turned to charity work, founding a philanthropic organization called Live Love Laugh. However, it is impossible to say whether the ambitious statements on its website (which is now down) were ever backed by any real actions, since the entity appears to never have been properly registered.

Zaslavskiy has also written at least three books (under the name Avi Meir Zaslavsky) that can be still found on Amazon. These are how-to guidebooks on the ins and outs of real estate business. Another one, which appeared around the time his two ICOs were in full swing in August 2017, sets out to explain the reader that “what you perceive and use as money is designed in such a way that the wealth created by the economy truly benefits only large banks and multinational corporations.”

Apparently, the book was meant to lend credibility to Zaslavskiy’s claim for intellectual leadership in the crypto space, as its press release presents him as “one of the world’s leading currency decentralization proponents.” The publicity campaign around the book provides a glimpse into Zaslavskiy’s approach to marketing himself and his ventures: bold, extravagant, overblown. Unsurprisingly, this style carried over to the way his two ICOs were presented to potential investors.

For someone disenchanted with both the traditional financial system and traditional means of making money, the ICO rush of 2017 presented innumerable opportunities. The beauty of the ICO model was that it opened up the world of venture capital, previously reserved exclusively for professional investors, to anyone with a few spare dollars and some interest in the uncharted space of blockchain applications. The flipside of it is that some of the newcomers were unable to tell legitimate projects from outright scams replete with red flags.

Megalomaniac language and exaggerated promises are usually telltale signs of something not being right with the venture that’s taking off. Zaslavskiy’s projects had both. REcoin, announced in June 2017, presented its founder as a “Real Estate guru” and proclaimed that the 101REcoin Trust held properties “in developed and stable economies like the USA, Canada, Japan, Great Britain, and Switzerland” without providing any evidence in support. Also, an “international team of attorneys and programmers” was allegedly there to “work tirelessly” on increasing token holders’ fortunes. As the court proceedings later revealed, no such team ever existed.

In August, after facing the first signs of SEC interest to REcoin, the “Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, and Author Max Zaslavsky” began his marketing campaign for an allegedly diamond-backed digital asset, the Diamond Reserve Club token. The release (beginning with “If the Holy Scriptures have taught us anything at all…”) touted a brand new Initial Membership Offering model, which was supposed to tokenize investors’ participation in a large ecosystem of interconnected businesses. It also suggested that the tokens could be inherited by the investors’ grandchildren.

One would think that the theatrical language and gargantuan assurances of the two ICOs’ public-facing documents would only make any reasonable person scoff. Yet from July through September Zaslavskiy and his accomplices managed to amass around $300,000 before the SEC took the matter to court.

On Sep. 29, 2017, the SEC brought a civil complaint to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York against Zaslavskiy and his two companies for violating U.S. securities laws. Recoin and DRC responded on their websites with a joint statement that argued that it was due to “lack of legal clarity as to when an ICO or a digital asset is a security,” suggesting that their operations were not within the SEC’s purview.

However, the Feds seemed to disagree. On Nov. 1, Zaslavskiy was apprehended by FBI agents and criminally charged with a conspiracy to commit securities fraud. In early December, he pleaded not guilty and secured a $250,000 bail backed by his family’s Brooklyn house. In February, Zaslavskiy’s defense filed a motion to dismiss the indictment on the grounds of inappropriate application of securities law to cryptocurrencies. Yet both the DoJ and SEC insisted that REcoin and DRC tokens passed the Howey test – a legal standard that determines whether a contract is a security.

In September, U.S. district judge Raymond Dearie concluded that for the purposes of the case, the tokens could, indeed, be treated as securities, potentially setting a precedent that could shape the future of ICO regulation. The judge was also unequivocal in characterizing the nature of Zaslavskiy’s enterprises:
“Stripped of the 21st century jargon, including the Defendant’s own characterization of the offered investment opportunities, the challenged indictment charges a straightforward scam, replete with the common characteristics of many financial frauds.”

Latest Updated News

Beating the scalpers: Crytpo makes ticket ownership less cryptic

The London Football Exchange has also started to explore other ways in which blockchain can help improve the current, antiquated systems that exist throughout the sport. When asked to think about football, many supporters and casual enthusiasts alike will be immediately transported to the uniquely tantalizing atmosphere of the stadium. This is the true heartland of many dedicated fans. However, getting there without a serious blow to the bank balance can be easier said than done.

For the LFE’s token holders, however, paying extortionate prices through illegal resellers may soon become a thing of the past. Token holders will have access to tickets at a cheaper price and directly from the club itself.

Football business expert Michael Broughton of the advising firm Sport Investment Partners spoke to the BBC about how this could also help clubs clamp down on misuse of season tickets:

"At present, most sports venues do not know exactly who is coming into the stadium. At Premier League football clubs, it is not unknown for people to let friends use their season tickets when they cannot get to games.

"The football clubs may know a ticket was used, but not always by whom. So they will never be able to target any further club marketing toward these spectators. You will have less fan engagement. Most clubs and stadiums have this issue.

"If you put your ticketing system onto the blockchain, you can verify if people attended or who they gave their tickets to. If people want to transfer these tickets to friends or others, then it has to be recorded on the blockchain."

The appeal of this idea is not contained to British clubs alone. The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) successfully trialed a mobile-based blockchain ticketing system, according to an Aug. 16 press release.

The “successful implementation” of the ticketing system took place for a limited 50 percent share of tickets available for the 2018 UEFA Europa League final in May. The test ran smoothly, leading the UEFA to increase the second trial to include all available tickets for a match between the Spanish giants Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, one of the football world’s most hotly anticipated fixtures. The UEFA is set to roll out more blockchain ticketing distribution in the near future.

Latest Updated News

Bitcoin Cash’s New Token Machine Gun: Inside Wormhole’s Quest to Dethrone ERC-20

Last week, Bitcoin.com CEO Roger Ver and lead developer Corbin Frasers unveiled a new tool which allows developers to issue tokens on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain, hosted on their publication.

“For better or worse, ICOs and CryptoKitties are probably coming to Bitcoin Cash in the near future,” Fraser said half-jokingly, to which Ver optimistically added that “they are probably coming to Bitcoin.com, too,” hinting that his publication might hold an ICO based on new tokens.

This became possible with the arrival of the Wormhole protocol, which might challenge the ERC-20 reign in the world of crypto tokens.

What are tokens and how are they issued?
Coins and tokens

The cryptocurrency market can be split into two parts: coins and tokens. The former are cryptocurrencies that have original blockchains supporting them — the two most obvious examples would be Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). Tokens, in turn, are based on pre-existing blockchains to represent a particular asset or utility.

Tokens are essential components of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs): Normally, a startup publishes a white paper for its decentralized app (DApp), holds fundraising rounds, collects investments in cryptocurrencies and then distributes its own tokens so that investors get their share based on their input.

The overwhelming majority of those tokens are built on the Ethereum network — they constitute nearly 83 percent of the whole token market, according to data obtained from ICOWatchList.

The most popular protocol used for forging tokens on the ETH blockchain is ERC-20, which has been proclaimed as “the king of DApps” for that reason. ERC stands for Ethereum Request for Comments, and the number is the one that was assigned to this request. It was first published on GitHub back in November 2015 by DApp developer for the Ethereum Project Fabian Vogelsteller. Basically, ERC-20 outlines a common list of rules that an ETH token has to follow, giving developers the ability to program how new tokens will function within the Ethereum ecosystem — for instance, to determine the total amount of issued tokens.

ERC-20 has gained its reputation by employing user-friendly principles and a simplified structure, which doesn’t require advanced programming skills: YouTube is swamped with tutorials on ‘how to create a cryptocurrency in X minutes,’ and the bulk of those suggests doing it via ERC-20. Basically, you just have to copy-paste a template from GitHub, choose a total amount of tokens, their name and symbol, pump some gas and ETH in and a new token is born.

Currently, there are more than 110,000 of these, as per Etherscan database. The most notable examples are EOS and TRON (TRX), which currently rank fifth and 12th respectively in terms of their market cap. Although most ERC-20 tokens have not been applied for direct use, some of them, like Basic Attention (BAT) and 0x (ZRX) tokens, are still being reviewed to be listed by major, law-compliant exchanges like Coinbase, despite their unclear regulatory status. While Ethereum itself has finally been deemed as “not a security” by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), ERC-20 tokens might potentially represent securities, depending on how they are marketed. Despite being within the Ethereum ecosystem, most of them simply represent one’s shares in a startup.

Consequently, ERC-20 played a crucial role in the 2017 ICO craze. Soon after the protocol was widely introduced, the number of ICO startups in the cryptocurrency market increased substantially. Prior to that, the industry had no unified programming standards: Coins were unique and, hence, interaction with exchanges, wallets and other applications was significantly hindered. To ensure compatibility, a token’s software had to be upgraded every time.

However, ERC-20, being the first-adopted version of the Ethereum-based protocol, has shown a number of problems and shortcomings over time.

The most notable one is the batchOverflow bug. Basically, when users accidentally send ERC-20 tokens (instead of ETH) to the address of a smart contract, the funds remain trapped inside that contract. Albeit over $3 million have been lost by ICO participants due to that loophole so far, the ERC-20 developers continue to call it “a user error,” not a bug.

That issue has led to other serious consequences for ERC-20 tokens. In April 2018, a number of exchanges, including OKEX, Poloniex, HitBTC and Changelly, halted deposits and withdrawals of all Ethereum-based tokens, citing the aforementioned bug.

Thus, Roger Ver’s plan mentioned above is to simplify token issuance on Bitcoin Cash’s (BCH) rails and host it on Bitcoin.com. It should be noted that Ver is a renowned adherent of BCH — Bitcoin’s hard fork that departed from the original blockchain in August 2017 with the aim to position itself as a transactional currency. Ver has been continuously declaring that “Bitcoin Cash is Bitcoin” via social media, citing the original white paper issued years prior to BCH’s release. Another prominent BCH believer, Dr. Craig Wright, recently labeled the ERC-20 concept as a “dead end,” adding that he was “looking forward to competition with Wormhole.”

Wormhole is a smart-contract protocol upgrade for the Bitcoin Cash blockchain proposed by a team of Chinese developers led by Jiazhi Jiang. Its white paper — available only in Chinese, at the moment — was presented in July. The development was initiated by crypto mining hardware giant Bitmain, the CEO of which is also a notable BCH advocate. Essentially, the Wormhole protocol allows users to implement a smart contract feature — just like ERC-20 does within Ethereum network — without changing the consensus rules of Bitcoin Cash’s blockchain. To achieve this, it employs OP_RETURN opcode based on the Omni Layer protocol.

It also supports native tokens called Wormhole Cash (WCH). Those tokens are the fuel for smart contracts on the BCH blockchain and are hence required for actions like creating new tokens or listing an ICO. WCH is generated through a proof-of-burn mechanism — to get 100 WCH, a user is required to send one BCH to the burn address. As of press time, more than 2,300 BCH (worth more than $1,200,000) have been burned this way. WCH has already been recognized by CoinEx, who listed the tokens on its platform on Aug. 1.

Praising the alternative token-forging process based on BCH’s blockchain and moving it to Bitcoin.com seems like a logical step for Roger Ver. Earlier in August, developer Gabriel Cardona, who created the open-source BCH software developer’s kit (SDK) called Bitbox, introduced a Wormhole beginner’s guide on Bitcoin.com. There, it explains how people can utilize Bitcoin.com’s developer’s tools to create tokens and launch an ICO using the Wormhole protocol. There are three types of those tokens — namely, tokens with a fixed number (where the cap number of tokens is predetermined), tokens with a managed number (the total amount of those token is controlled through granting/revoking) and tokens for crowdsale/ICOs (tokens which are later sold for WCH during an ICO.)

For Bitmain, in turn, fortifying he BCH ecosystem appears to be a more constrained decision. Prior to holding its IPO, the mining behemoth reportedly converted most of its savings from BTC to BCH, while the coin has been having an overall unfortunate year in terms of its market value.

“According to the Bitmain pre-IPO investor deck, they sold most of their [Bitcoin] for [Bitcoin Cash]. At $900/BCH, they've bled half a billion in the last three months,” Blockstream CSO Samson Mow claimed on Twitter on Aug. 11.

At this point, it is unclear if Wormhole will manage to outperform the current staple of ICO economics — i.e., ERC-20 tokens. While WCH might not feature obvious bugs like the batchOverflow one, some shortcomings might be revealed over time.

Nevertheless, despite being a relatively new concept, Wormhole enjoys more support when compared to another prominent Ethereum-based “killer” of ERC-20 — i.e., the ERC-223, which was introduced much earlier, back in 2017, but still has not been widely adopted. While both are yet to receive massive backing from software and hardware wallets, Wormhole has now received a convenient interface platform, making it easier to experiment with new, BCH-based tokens. However, while ERC-223 is lagging behind, another ETH-based protocol, ERC-777, could be presented as soon as this month.

Latest Updated News

How have cryptocurrency prices changed over the past 18 months?

Tracking the price of Bitcoin gives us a good indication of the overall cryptocurrency market in the past 18 months.

Bitcoin started 2017 at under $1,000 and took a dip when China announced investigations into cryptocurrency exchanges in the country. At that point, the majority of Bitcoin trading took place in China, and the price of Bitcoin dropped to lows of around $775, while the overall cryptocurrency market cap stood at close to $15 billion.

Bitcoin made a slight recovery to well over $1,000 but by March 2017, dropped back down to below $1,000 when the SEC denied the go-ahead for a Bitcoin ETF. The overall market cap dropped $5 billion in two days.

In April 2017, Japan declared Bitcoin legal currency, which saw the price jump back up over $1,000. The total cryptocurrency market cap stood at around $26 billion at that stage.

From April 2017 to July 2017, Bitcoin steadily climbed close to $3,000 while the overall market cap went past $100 billion. However, by mid-July 2017, the price came crashing down to below $2,000 in a few short days when the Bitcoin/Bitcoin Cash split took place.

The effects were short-lived and, by the end of August 2017, Bitcoin recovered to almost $5,000 and the overall cryptocurrency market cap came close to $170 billion.

But then, on Sept. 4, China famously banned ICOs. The move, however, caused far less of a correction than was expected. Bitcoin did drop to around $3,300 by mid-September 2017 but quickly recovered and, by the end of September 2017, it reached well over $4,000. The cryptocurrency market cap was just below $150 billion at this point.

From here, the Bitcoin price really picked up momentum. By the end of October 2017, it had gone past the $6,000 mark and finished November 2017 at just under $10,000 per BTC.

In mid-December 2017, it reached highs of $20,000, but it finished the year at around $15,000, while the market cap closed the year at around $235 billion.



By the end of January 2018, the price of Bitcoin had come back down to around $10,000 and reached lows of $6,000 during February 2018.

In February 2018, we saw Bitcoin push back up past $11,000 and the overall market cap recovering to around $500 billion — after reaching lows of around $300 billion earlier in the month.

Since then, amid talks of increased regulation across the various markets, and other bumps — such as Google banning crypto ads — the price of Bitcoin has been on a steady downward trend, despite occasional, short-lived recoveries. As of the beginning of July 2018, Bitcoin is hovering around the $6,000 mark, with the total cryptocurrency market cap holding steady at around $250 billion.

Like with traditional markets, there are no guarantees when it comes to future price predictions for the cryptocurrency market.

Latest Updated News

Bitcoin in China – What Lies Ahead? 5 Things the US-China Commission Said about Bitcoin’s Future in

Chinese policy has a massive impact on Bitcoin price, trading volume, and perceived legitimacy – but as the government’s policy on digital currencies is ambigious, Bitcoin’s future in China remains uncertain.

The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission reached this conclusion in a research brief published earlier this week. The report examined Bitcoin’s history in China, documenting the evolution of Chinese official (and actual) attitude toward Bitcoin and exploring some of the factors for its popularity – and potential for the future.

Here are five things the USCC report said about Bitcoin and China.

1. China was a big part of Bitcoin’s surge to peak value.
China is packed with mobile phone users, techies, and investors eager to ride the latest and greatest technology waves. Many of these people first discovered Bitcoin when state TV aired a half-hour documentary on it in May 2013.

By September, China was hosting the second-highest number of Bitcoin nodes in the world. In October, a number of massive Chinese e-commerce sites started accepting Bitcoin as payment – and that same month, trade in Chinese yuan passed those in US dollars, and the price of Bitcoin went way up. Chinese Bitcoin exchanges brokered the biggest volume of trading in the world last year.

2. China’s unfriendly policies on Bitcoin have been a big part of its drop in price.

Bitcoin price dropped in December when the Chinese state bank banned financial institutions from dealing in Bitcoin and ordered its biggest payment processing companies to halt Bitcoin transactions. BTC China, the country’s top exchange, had to stop accepting deposits in yuan.

“The effects of BTC China’s closure devastated the market: the price of Bitcoin in China toppled more than 50 percent from its peak on December 1,” the report said.

More restrictions on Bitcoin payment issued by the state bank in March and April this year knocked global Bitcoin prices by another 7.77 percent.

3. BUT…Chinese official policy doesn’t necessary match the reality of enforcement.

The three biggest Chinese Bitcoin exchanges said they never received orders from the state bank to close their Bitcoin accounts.

In April, the head of China’s state bank said that China could not ban Bitcoin, as it wasn’t started by the central banks. However, many Chinese Bitcoin exchanges said they have been pressured by the central bank into shutting down.

The move seems to signal that the government remains unfriendly toward Bitcoin, but prefers unofficial intimidation and pressure to official regulation.

“The true attitude of China’s regulators toward Bitcoin is characteristically ambiguous; while the PBoC [state bank] pressures banks and Bitcoin companies behind closed doors, its officials claim openly that China cannot ban Bitcoin,” the report said.

Still, there are some optimistic signs for Bitcoin’s future in China: The CEO of BTC China has installed the country’s first physical Bitcoin ATM in Shanghai (getting around the law by operating using a mobile phone app), and Beijing successfully hosted the first Global Bitcoin Summit earlier this month (even though five major Chinese exchanges dropped out of participation because of pressure from the central bank).

4. China dominates the Bitcoin market for two reasons: e-commerce and mining.

If China’s not so friendly towards Bitcoin, why is it still so big there? First, the Chinese dominate global e-commerce and online payment systems. The Chinese spent more than Americans on e-commerce last year, and the market’s still growing. Bitcoin is an obvious fit for this industry.

Second, China has a massive online gaming community (55.5 million gamers in 2009), many of whom are actively engaged in “gold farming” – a process of earning virtual money to use in the games as cash.

The concept is similar, in fact, to mining bitcoins – which may have primed Chinese gamers to get involved.

“Gold farming can be seen as a precursor to the practice of ‘mining’ for Bitcoin,” the report said, noting that though it’s hard to measure the number of Bitcoin miners in China, multiple experts estimate that the country is a major mining hub.

5. If things go south for Bitcoin in China, the market will probably move to Hong Kong.

Hong Kong, as a special administrative region separate from China, enjoys different laws, which for Bitcoin spell relief.

Hong Kong considers Bitcoin a virtual commodity (not a currency) and does thus does not regulate it. Several big Bitcoin exchanges and ATMs are now operating in Hong Kong, which “is positioned to become a global hub for Bitcoin entrepreneurs and businesses,” the report said.

Hong Kong’s trade volume is still relatively low, signaling that Chinese users and investors haven’t started en masse moving their holdings there.

Still, the report concludes, in case of future regulation from the Chinese government, “Hong Kong appears primed for Bitcoin’s successful takeoff as a medium of exchange.”

Chinese Bitcoiners, stay tuned.

Latest Updated News

Weekly Roundup: From CoinRPGs and Cryptomoms to Bitcoin Blvds., Wallet Bracelets and Mt. Gox

It’s getting hard to miss a day without hearing about it as Bitcoin is certainly becoming more common in our everyday lives from the multitude of headlines across the entire world spanning a whole range of related topics. And as long as crypto currencies remain at the forefront of innovation, interesting events and developments are sure to grab our attention.


Today, a five year old could easily know more about trading on exchanges and mining than his or her parents. Although there is something else that kids are certainly better at: computer games. Bitcoin has been used in the MMORPG world for a while for buying game currency and artifacts, but youngsters from Kuroato Media have decided to go even further by submitting CoinRPG for legal recognition. This multiplayer role playing game gives users many options such as collecting in-game Bitcoins. Of course, just like in other video games, the money is not real, however, the general idea is still inspiring.