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TC Cribs: A Trip To The Love Nest, A Co-living Space For Bitcoin Enthusiasts

TechCrunch, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

This is a bit of an experimental Cribs episode this week. Stretch your wings and expand your understanding of life in startup land as I take you on a journey over to the Love Nest, a technology commune made mostly of bitcoin stars in Palo Alto, California. The Love Nest is a little Burning Man, a little startup incubator. Friends, co-founders and what the house calls “tech… Read More

Bitcoin is going nuts

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

bitcoin

Another day, another monster run for bitcoin traders. 

Bitcoin was trading at around $240 in the beginning of October. Now – after a gain of 10% on Tuesday added to its earlier run, its closer to $400.

Now, bitcoin traders are looking for answers as to why the cryptocurrency is skyrocketing in value.

"You're seeing more and more institutional investors moving into the space," said Brendan O'Connor, CEO of Genesis Global Trading, a bitcoin broker.

Some of the demand has been coming from China. O'Connor said the daily volume of bitcoin trades coming from China has been two- to three-times the ordinary amount over the last two weeks. 

It's not just the value of bitcoin that's increasing, it's also the prevalence of use.

The number of daily bitcoin transactions appears to be steadily rising, according to tracking site Coinbase. And that has the potential to have a tremendous impact on the cryptocurrency. 

"We are seeing unprecedented volume globally," said Michael Sonneshein from Grayscale Investments, which manages the Bitcoin Investment Trust, a publicly listed vehicle that tracks bitcoin. Bitcoin Investment Trust hasn't been public very long — but it enjoyed a run-up of more than 7% on the good news Tuesday

Neither O'Connor or Sonneshein centered on a single factor that is boosting bitcoin's value. Sonneshein pointed out that as bitcoin auctions run by the US Marshals draw closer (only in a handful of instances), the cryptocurrency tends to see increased trading activity. 

The next government auction of seized bitcoin is November 5. 

Here's the graph tracking bitcoin: 

Screen Shot 2015 11 03 at 4.41.12 PM

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NOW WATCH: This is what will happen when the Fed raises rates

Genesis Trading, Binary to Bid in Final Silk Road Bitcoin Auction

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Digital Currency Group's Genesis Trading and bitcoin hedge fund Binary Financial are set to participate in a government auction of bitcoin this week.

As the Bitcoin Price Rises to New 2015 Highs, Investors Seek to Explain Recent Gains

Bitcoin Magazine, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Only a day after writing that bitcoin had reached new highs in the $360s, the currency slammed through the $400s up to $425 before investors took profits, sending the price dropping back to $385. The gap between the Chinese and American exchanges widened to $23.

The last time the price of bitcoin was above $400 was back in November 2014.

Amidst the conversation about the price rising, eclipsing previous 52-week highs, is a desire to justify the price appreciation. According to Jack Liu of OKCoin, one of the drivers has been a desire for “mainland [China] speculators to move to other assets after the stock market fallout.”

However, another possibility is that some of the Bitcoin demand has been driven by a large MMM Ponzi scheme, according to several Chinese exchanges.

On October 15th, BTCC tweeted out a warning that there might be certain investments being offered to individuals that were not entirely legitimate.


Bitcoin Magazine reached out to the three primary Chinese exchanges—Huobi, OKCoin, and BTCC—for comment regarding this warning. Huobi provided the following statement:

“We believe that most of the investors hold a positive attitude towards the future development of bitcoin industry. However, money is neutral. Capital flow is the reflection of the market movement. We can’t deny that MMM to a certain extent pushed the recent spike of bitcoin price. The new investment model of MMM attracted a lot of investors, however it is unsustainable,” said Astrid Tao, Operation & International Marketing Manager at Huobi.

Tao went on to say that, “From the viewpoint of an exchange platform, it’s hard to tell the purpose and reason why they invest in bitcoin. But we’ll do our best to lead these new investors to rediscover bitcoin and the industry, and to guide them to participate in trading in a right way.”

MMM was an organization that ran the world’s largest Ponzi scheme in the 1990s. The founder, Sergei Mavrodi, is believed to have defrauded anywhere from 5 to 40 million people in the amount of $40 billion.

The Mail & Guardian reported on a MMM scheme taking place in South Africa utilizing bitcoin as the means of transferring value. However, those that have participated don’t view it as an investment, but rather, a donation.

“I don’t know exactly how it works, but I am not making an investment, “ Kgomotso (not his real name) told Mail & Guardian. “I am just donating money to somebody, and then somebody will donate to me. People talk ‘investment’, but this is us helping each other.”

In essence, a user who signed up to the MMM today would purchase bitcoin to give to members who signed up yesterday. All along, the user who signed up today would hope that users would sign up tomorrow to give them bitcoin.

Bitcoin Magazine has reached out to BTCC and OKCoin for comment on the MMM Ponzi scheme and will update this piece as more information is available.

Jacob Donnelly is a full-time product manager and freelance journalist covering stocks, business and bitcoin. He runs a weekly digital currency and blockchain newsletter called Crypto Brief.

The post As the Bitcoin Price Rises to New 2015 Highs, Investors Seek to Explain Recent Gains appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Bitcoin Poker Site Operator to Pay $25,000 Fine

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

The former operator of bitcoin poker site Seals with Clubs was sentenced to two years of probation and fined $25,000 today.

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong: BIP 101 is the Best Proposal We've Seen So Far

Bitcoin Magazine, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Brian Armstrong, CEO of record-funded Bitcoin wallet service and exchange Coinbase, plans a code update to allow for bigger blocks in the second week of December, and has indicated he prefers BIP (Bitcoin Improvement Proposal) 101. This makes Coinbase the latest Bitcoin industry heavyweight to endorse the proposal as adopted by alternative Bitcoin implementation Bitcoin XT, although the company is still open to other solutions.

Armstrong recently sent out a series of tweets in support of a block-size increase, in which he stated the intention to upgrade his company's code by December. It was not clear, however, whether these tweets indicated support for BIP 101, the block-increase proposal that is programmed to increase the maximum block size eightfold to 8MB, doubling each other year until it reaches 8GB. While BIP 101 is endorsed by several leading companies in the Bitcoin space, other proposals have gathered significant support, too.

Speaking to Bitcoin Magazine, Armstrong confirmed that Coinbase plans to upgrade its code to allow for bigger blocks in December of this year. And while the preferred solution is not set in stone, Coinbase currently favors BIP 101.

“We are open to evaluating all proposals which increase the block size. But we do plan to upgrade around the second week of December, so this will require working solutions in code by then. The only one I'm aware of which currently has working code is BIP 101,” Armstrong said.

Moreover, Armstrong indicated that he'd like the Bitcoin industry to switch to Bitcoin XT, the alternative Bitcoin implementation run by Mike Hearn and Gavin Andresen that implemented BIP 101 in August of this year.

“In my view, Bitcoin XT is the best option I've seen so far. Not just because it has working code, but also because it has a simple implementation that is easy to understand, the block-size increases seem about right to me, and I have confidence in the people behind the project. My preference at this point would be to have Gavin step up as the final decision-maker on Bitcoin XT, and have the industry move to that solution with help from Mike Hearn, Jeff Garzik and others that wish to do so.”

The CEO believes an upgrade is urgently needed in order for the Bitcoin network to handle a sudden increase of Bitcoin usage. As such, Armstrong emphasized that Coinbase will not wait for consensus to form among the Bitcoin development community.

“We will upgrade regardless of whether Bitcoin Core is updated,” Armstrong said. “Capacity planning is something you should try to get ahead of. Growth can be unpredictable, and I want to remove all blockers to Bitcoin's success. I've been disappointed to see how slow Bitcoin Core has moved on this issue, and we're open to switching forks.”

In an open letter published in September, a selection of prominent Bitcoin developers urged the Bitcoin community to take the time to evaluate proposals that have been put forward and agree on the best solutions via the consensus-building process. In particular, many of these developers argue that a switch to bigger blocks represents a big, perhaps even existential security risk.

Armstrong told Bitcoin Magazine that he is aware of the potential risks of increasing the block-size limit, but said he believes these are being overstated.

“When people offer opinions on things like this, it's important to consider their qualifications. In my case, I've implemented a Bitcoin node from scratch. I created the first version of the one Coinbase uses in production today, and I've helped us scale this bitcoin node from 0 to 2.7 million customers. So I've learned quite a lot about scaling a Bitcoin node during that time.” Armstrong explained. “It is a difficult judgment call, but I believe it is low enough risk, and the upside is considerable enough to make it worth it.”

Other leading Bitcoin companies published an open letter in August in which they vowed to upgrade their code to increase the maximum block size. The letter expressed support for BIP 101, although three of its signers have since indicated that alternative block increase proposals will be considered as well.


Photo TechCrunch / Flickr (CC)

The post Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong: BIP 101 is the Best Proposal We've Seen So Far appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Top 4 Reasons Banks Should be Excited About Blockchain

Bitcoin Magazine, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

This is a guest post by Senthil Radhakrishnan, the Vice President and Head of Capital Market Solutions Group at Virtusa. Senthil has 16+ years’ experience focused in capital markets technology with top tier Investment banks such as UBS, JPMC, Barclays, and others.

Blockchain (the technology that powers Bitcoin) is a magic box – a mix of innovations and the smart use of available solutions make it revolutionary. It’s not often that a technology paradigm has so many great ideas packaged into a small capsule. There is little wonder why all the top banks and investors are backing it with more than $750 million in funding.

Why all the hype around blockchain? Let’s take a look at some of the blockchain’s most extraordinary features.

Self-regulating platform

It’s not often that one comes across a system that can regulate itself with little or no human intervention. In any industry like finance, the central bank and a regulatory body (such as the SEC) lay down rules and provide governance. The blockchain eliminates the need for a corporation or government entity to regulate the operations of the system.

Blockchain has a provide proof-of-work concept, where peer computer nodes approve every transaction. The system has built-in checks and balances to ensure a set of colluding computers can’t game the system. All these checks and monitoring are done by computers. There are alternatives to proof-of-work, including other consensus models, but the central idea of peer-to-peer clients or nodes managing the system, remains. What’s more, the blockchain brings in an element of transparency, which reduces fraud as it’s visible to a large global community to monitor or govern it – “crowd sourced regulation.” Imagine the savings and efficiency this concept could usher in.

Legally sound and binding

The actors (users) and their actions (sending money or assets to somebody else) are recorded on the blockchain. Any disagreement between two counterparties can be traced and proved in a court of law. This is possible because all transactions have a public/private key cryptography aspect and the transactions, once added to the blockchain, are immutable. Any record, once added to the blockchain, is tamper-proof. The current holder of the asset or digital currency in the blockchain will have his or her public key in the block. The transaction then needs to be signed by the private key of the previous owner of the asset. The blockchain also allows alternative approval mechanisms, such as requiring two persons to sign-off on a transaction. In a system not backed by a corporate or government, a legally binding mechanism dramatically improves the trust factor.

Built-in business continuity

A global platform on which critical financial transactions take place cannot afford to shut down. The blockchain, being a peer-to-peer network, with many distributed nodes and supporting computer servers, is highly reliable. Every participating node has a copy of the entire blockchain ledger. This makes the whole network fault-tolerant because a couple of nodes failing will not hinder the operation of the rest of the network. This gives it 24/7 availability without using any complex technologies like a disaster recovery center or database redundancy.

Evolving model with no baggage

There are rules and criteria that exist to help determine who can approve transactions and what checks need to be made before the transaction is allowed to be added to the blockchain. The blockchain can fork into newer versions based on the changing environment and business demands. In tune with the overall Bitcoin philosophy, such changes will have to be adopted by all the users and would have to be equally beneficial. In addition, these enhancements don’t affect the transactions that already have occurred and been confirmed on the blockchain. This adds the extra element of robustness and flexibility.

Several comparisons have been made between the Internet and the blockchain in areas including potential growth and business prospects. Both systems have similar traits. The Internet has little or no central governance (except for a few guidelines to determine URL naming conventions and domain registration), it has redundancy and is fault-tolerant. The Internet also has evolved over many years, from basic text to rich graphics, videos and animations without affecting existing systems and content.

The blockchain has proved its capability and usefulness as demonstrated by the Bitcoin network. Lao Tzu a famous Chinese philosopher once said, “Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” This could be the tenet for all the early adopters of the blockchain.

The post Top 4 Reasons Banks Should be Excited About Blockchain appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Bitcoin Finally Gets an Approved Unicode Character Point

Bitcoin Magazine, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

As obvious an oversight as it could be, attempting to type the bitcoin symbol via text, email, or on webpages is not the easiest thing. However, after a successful vote at the latest Unicode meeting, users will be able to easily type the character.

“The Bitcoin symbol is clearly popular enough that it should be in Unicode,” said Ken Shirriff, the author of the proposal, in an interview with Bitcoin Magazine . “Getting the Bitcoin symbol into the Unicode standard was clearly the right thing for Unicode and the right thing for the Bitcoin community.”

Shirriff, who showed how one could mine for bitcoin with pencil and paper or with a 55 year old mainframe, felt that it was a huge oversight to not have the symbol part of Unicode. Since he had experience getting another symbol approved by Unicode, “I figured I needed to make this happen.”

In his proposal, he wrote, “There is substantial demand for [Bitcoin Symbol] to be added to Unicode, the user community supports adding the sign to Unicode and its addition would fill a significant gap in Unicode’s currency symbols. This proposal has the support of the Bitcoin Foundation as well as other Bitcoin organizations, companies and developers.”

This wasn’t his first time getting a new symbol added to Unicode. “I have been helping restore an IBM mainframe from the 1960s and it uses a strange character set (BCDIC). When I tried to write about the computer, I discovered that one symbol (the group mark symbol) was missing from Unicode. I figured I’d try to get that character added to Unicode, so I followed the steps that the power symbol people suggested, wrote up a proposal, and got the group mark symbol added to Unicode.”

Shirriff explained that part of the process was showing the symbol used in “running text. “People on reddit.com/r/bitcoin and bitcointalk.org were very helpful and gave me a ton of examples, everything from web pages to research papers,” he said. Originally, the Bitcoin Foundation was pushing to get the symbol added to Unicode, but after a year, there had been little progress. Shirriff submitted the proposal at the beginning of the month and gained acceptance last night.

“The Unicode 9.0 standard will come out in June, so the Bitcoin symbol should be in that version,” Shirriff said, though he cautioned that font support could take longer. Between the next bitcoin halving and this symbol, it seems like Summer of 2016 should be a very exciting time.

Jacob Donnelly is a full-time product manager and freelance journalist covering stocks, business and bitcoin. He runs a weekly digital currency and blockchain newsletter called Crypto Brief.

The post Bitcoin Finally Gets an Approved Unicode Character Point appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Payments Giant WorldPay is Quietly Supporting Bitcoin

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

CoinDesk speaks to global payment processing giant Worldpay about its bitcoin strategy and interest in the technology.

Money talks: November 3rd 2015: The trust machine

The Economist, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

APOSTLES of blockchain, the technology behind Bitcoin, think of it as the internet of money with implications stretching far beyond the cryptocurrency 20151103 18:46:13 Comment Expiry Date:  Wed, 2015-11-18

Bitcoin Price Breaks Beyond $400

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Since yesterday's update, bitcoin price advanced strongly and is now past the $400 psych level. The CNY exchanges continue leading the market higher and the upside potential looks promising - even including inevitable corrections. This analysis is provided by xbt.social with a 3-hour delay. Read the full analysis here. Not a member? Join now and receive a $29 discount using the code CCN29. Bitcoin Price Analysis Time of analysis: 15h53 UTC BTC-China 1-Hour Chart From the analysis pages of xbt.social, earlier today: OKCoin 3Mth is approaching $440 and BTCC is approaching 2600 CNY, and price has been respecting Fib extension […]

The post Bitcoin Price Breaks Beyond $400 appeared first on CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

The Bitcoin Sign Is Now among the Unicode Standard

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

The Bitcoin sign has been accepted by the Unicode Standard and will be included in a future version of the Standard.  This is the Bitcoin symbol: ₿. It’s a box right now but not long from now, a future version of the Unicorn Standard will ensure that refreshing this page at that point in time will have the Bitcoin font turning up instead. The recognition bestowed upon the Bitcoin symbol is largely due to the efforts of Twitter user @ken_lunde, an Adobe employee in California according to the profile who, with help, submitted a proposal [PDF] for the addition of […]

The post The Bitcoin Sign Is Now among the Unicode Standard appeared first on CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

Bitcoin Price Breaks $400 Amid 12% Surge

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

The price of bitcoin has surpassed the $400 mark today for the first time since November 2014.

30 Goldman Sachs alumni who went on to lead startups (GS)

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Spencer Rascoff Zillow

Goldman Sachs mints millionaires, but some of the bank's employees achieve career highs only once they've left Wall Street.

Just ask Spencer Rascoff: the former Goldman banker spent years working at various startups before joining Zillow's founding team.

He ascended through the ranks, beginning in 2005, before becoming CEO of the home-sales site.

Business Insider tracked down 29 other men and women who worked at Goldman Sachs and later went on to launch new companies, or took on leadership roles with hot startups, after leaving the big bank. 

Not all of them were at the bank for very long. Christopher Altchek was at the bank just a year before he launched news website Mic.com. On the other hand, Patrick de Nonneville spent more than seven years with the bank, working as co-head of European interest rates products, until the allure of startup life lured him away this year.

The businesses range from bond-trading platforms to speech therapy apps. There's one bakery in the mix. Some have been sold to tech giants like Twitter, while others are still in their early stages.

If you are, or know of, bankers who've started up their own firms after checking out of Goldman Sachs, please let us know at: jmarino@businessinsider.com

Before he was a big public company CEO, Spencer Rascoff was a Goldman banker

Spencer Rascoff had a lengthy career across virtually all segments of finance: as a banker and a private equity pro.

He joined real estate website Zillow at its founding in 2005, and served in various roles, becoming CEO in 2010. Earlier this year Zillow completed the integration of Trulia, its biggest competitor that it acquired for $2.5 billion. 



Kristen Koh Goldstein launched a site for women like her

After more than a decade in finance, one Goldman Sachs alumnus decided working and raising a family wasn’t a zero-sum game. Kristen Koh Goldman would go on to launch BackOps, a startup that puts stay-at-home moms and others in touch with companies that need to outsource back-office functions such as bookkeeping, payroll and talent management.

In a recent interview with Business Insider, Koh said her company is now profitable. 

 



Nick Sedlet launched a hiring startup

Nick Sedlet spent more than three years working at Goldman Sachs as a quantitative analyst before he launched HireArt in 2011. 

The job applicant screening service would go on to secure seed funding from YCombinator. Already, he's racked up $1.4 million in funding. He said in an interview with Inc.:

"I felt like there was a lot more to me than what I was doing at work. Starting a company sounded exciting and was something I always wanted to try. It wasn't easy to leave a job I had worked so hard to get, but it was now or never.”



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Bitwala Now Lets Users Send Bitcoin to Paypal Accounts

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Bitwala’s newest feature allows users to send Bitcoin to any PayPal account, anywhere in the world. Crypto-to-SEPA payments service platform Bitwala is now offering its users the means to send Bitcoin to any PayPal account with the simple requisite of a PayPal email address. The company charges a flat fee at 0.5% of the transacted amount. In a blog post today, Bitwala made the announcement along with launching the feature with immediate effect. Additional details revealed that the Euro is the accepted currency presently and all transfers made toward destination PayPal accounts will be done with EUR, with the exchange […]

The post Bitwala Now Lets Users Send Bitcoin to Paypal Accounts appeared first on CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

Bitcoin Surges as US Marshalls Prepare for Final Silk Road Bitcoin Auction

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

As Bitcoin makes its biggest gains in two years, the US Marshall Service prepares its final auction of bitcoins seized during the Silk Road investigation from Ross Ulbricht. Bitcoin has been consolidating since 2013, as headlines like the collapse of Mt. Gox and the Silk Road have colored people’s view of the cryptocurrency. Over the past seven weeks, Bitcoin has sustained its longest run since November 2013. Recently, positive news has painted the picture, as major demand out of China drives up the price of the currency. The central bank there has cut rates multiple times. Other developments, such as the […]

The post Bitcoin Surges as US Marshalls Prepare for Final Silk Road Bitcoin Auction appeared first on CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

Tip Anyone In The World With A New App That Takes USD And Bitcoin

Forbes, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Micropayments service ChangeTip has added yet another product aimed at gaining traction outside of the core Bitcoin community.

USAA Adds Bitcoin Balance Check Option for Coinbase Users

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

USAA is rolling out a pilot program that will let some customers view their Coinbase bitcoin balances through their online and mobile accounts.

Gallery: Bitcoin and Blockchain Feature at Money 20/20 2015

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Bitcoin and the blockchain were frequent topics at the annual Money20/20 conference held in Las Vegas last week.

Voxelus Completes a Record $350,000 Pre-Sale Round

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Reality content creation platform and marketplace Voxelus has completed its private pre-sale of in-game cryptocurrency Voxels (VOX) with 1.2 million VOX sold for a total of 1,022 BTC. The private pre-sale of 1.2 million VOX for a total of 1,022 BTC (approx. $350,000) has resulted in a record for the largest amount raised in a private crowdsale of a cryptographic token. A majority of the orders came in during the final 48 hours of the private pre-sale. Deemed as the “coin of the realm,” Voxels can be used to purchase digital assets, animations, games and more on the Voxelus marketplace […]

The post Voxelus Completes a Record $350,000 Pre-Sale Round appeared first on CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

Juvenile Ran Online Drug Empire From Bedroom, Got Paid In Bitcoin

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

A German court has sentenced a young man to seven years' juvenile detention for running a multi-million-euro online drug business from his bedroom in his mother’s apartment, according to The Guardian, the London, U.K.-based newspaper. The man sold nearly one ton of drugs on the Darknet and the open Internet, taking payment in bitcoin and delivering drugs by registered mail. Police described the operation as highly sophisticated. The man, referred to as Maximilian S, rented computer servers in the Netherlands and used IP addresses throughout Germany. He also encrypted his email, took payment in bitcoin and used bank accounts set up with false […]

The post Juvenile Ran Online Drug Empire From Bedroom, Got Paid In Bitcoin appeared first on CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

The Economist explains: Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?

The Economist, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

“I HAVE moved on to other things.” Thus wrote the mysterious creator of bitcoin, who calls himself Satoshi Nakamoto, in an e-mail in April 2011. Except for a few messages, most of which are believed to be hoaxes, he has not been heard from since. Nobody has ever met him in person, no photos exist. Even the roughly 1m bitcoin (currently worth more than $300m) which sit in digital wallets once controlled by him have not been touched. So who is the elusive creator of the technology which powers the digital currency?Most books on bitcoin feature a lengthy chapter about who Mr Nakamoto may be. Each has its own theory, often based on the same sources. Some locate him in Britain (because of his use of Britishisms, such as “bloody hard”). Others reckon he is somewhere in the eastern parts of the Americas (because of the timestamps on his e-mails). He has been variously identified as a Finnish sociologist, a Japanese mathematician and an Irish student. The names mentioned most often are Nick Szabo and Hal Finney, two American cryptographers, but the former denies it and the latter died in 2014. In March last year Newsweek, a magazine, identified a man living in California, named Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto, as the real Nakamoto—which turned out to be an embarrassing (and predictable) canard. Then there is the argument that Mr Nakamoto's bitcoin code is so good that it must ...

What we learned at the Money20/20 conference

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Millennials workforce

Money20/20, one of the biggest US fintech and payments conferences, was held last week in Las Vegas. Companies at the three-day event largely focused on the importance of reaching millennials, who are digital-savvy, mobile-focused, and now the largest working generation. Importantly, millennials — those aged 18-34 — are becoming essential clients for payments businesses. Mobile is the fundamental channel for younger consumers to make purchases, process payments, and interact with banks, and companies have realized that if they don't adapt, they'll likely be left behind.

Mobile is increasingly becoming the device on which users make payments, both online and in-store.

  • Mobile wallets: JPMorgan Chase announced Chase Pay, the company’s first attempt at a native mobile wallet. Chase Pay, which will operate in partnership with merchant consortium MCX, will allow Chase’s 94 million customers to make QR code-based purchases using their Chase-issued cards. The service intends to capitalize on loyalty and rewards programs in order to become a legitimate competitor to wallets like Android Pay, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay. 
  • M-commerce: Visa updated security platforms on Visa Checkout, the company’s one-click online purchasing tool, allowing merchants to better protect consumer data while handling online payments and recurring transactions. 

FREE WEBINAR: Register for BI Intelligence's free webinar on the digital disruption of retail banking. Hear directly from John Heggestuen and ask him questions about the trends shaping the future of banking. November 10th at 11:00am ET.

Traditional financial institutions are innovating to keep pace with the disruption caused by digital-first startups.

  • Mobile options in banking are diversifying. FIS debuted a platform that would increase ATM convenience by allowing users to pre-schedule withdrawals through a connected smartphone rather than on a touchscreen at the machine. Payments would be authenticated with an iris scanner. For banks trying to attract convenience-focused millennials, making mobile the intermediary in banking processes is becoming increasingly common.
  • Financial institutions are investing in new technologies that increase the efficiency of traditional processes. Nasdaq debuted Nasdaq Linq at the conference, a trading platform for the private market that’s built on blockchain technology, which powers Bitcoin. The technology allows transactions to be verified by users on an ongoing basis and gives private companies an efficient, secure digital alternative to the traditionally labor-intensive process of shareholder management. 
  • Tech companies are even challenging the lending industry. PayPal Working Capital, the company’s small-business arm, announced that it has provided over $1 billion in loans to small businesses since 2013. The company targets PayPal merchants, particularly small businesses that aren't likely to be approved for loans through traditional means, and provides them with funds.

Terminal providers are also turning to increasingly mobile-focused products in order to appeal to merchants more interested in digital commerce. Verifone launched a new suite of products called Verifone Engage, which have smartphone-like features that allow for more flexibility in design for the merchant. And Ingenico announced Ingenico Connect, which gives Ingenico merchants more mobile-friendly interface options, developer integration, and increased security options for developing a desktop or mobile store. It’s likely that terminal providers are introducing these options in order to stay competitive with smaller, mobile point-of-sale systems like Square, or digital-based e-commerce tools like Stripe.

FREE WEBINAR: Register for BI Intelligence's free webinar on the digital disruption of retail banking. Hear directly from John Heggestuen and ask him questions about the trends shaping the future of banking. November 10th at 11:00am ET.

Join the conversation about this story »

Anonymous Starts to Reveal KKK Members' Details with #OpKKK

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Anonymous has made good on its threat to expose KKK members on the internet to reveal phone numbers and emails of alleged KKK members.

The post Anonymous Starts to Reveal KKK Members' Details with #OpKKK appeared first on CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

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