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Central bank's official warnings of the risks involved. Last updated: June 2018.

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Blockchain Copyright Solutions For Journalists To Be Created By NEM Foundation In Argentina

NEM Foundation has signed a MoU with CISPREN, a local trade union of journalists in Argentina to develop a blockchain based solution for copyright protection. They hope to solve the problems of content theft and failure in paying royalties. The NEM.io Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in Singapore with members across the globe. The Foundation is dedicated to the ongoing development of NEM blockchain technology and the promotion of a vibrant ecosystem of NEM users and developers in governments, academia, industry, and the public at large. The NEM blockchain software is used in a commercial blockchain called Mijin, which is being tested by financial institutions and private companies in Japan and internationally. According to the press officer of FNEM Argentina, Germán Guismondi, there are no current options that are ideal for the process. He said: “For now to keep content in Blockchain you have to make several movements: register on the platform or wallet, upload the article, receive the hash or apostille document … We know that each extra movement of the mouse lowers the number of users who are encouraged to carry the process out. The interface is always an impediment for the user, the ideal interface is when the action is executed without an interface “ When asked about the features and usability of the finished outcome, he continued: “The characteristics of our final product will be: serve to verify the authorship of the piece of content, being the moment of creation and the type of content the most important aspects and a interface so usable that you can save documents in Blockchain with a single click. And all this without diminishing the speed of the process of publishing the content.” NEM is not the first organization to try to solve this problem. In October 2018, Forbes partnered with blockchain-based platform Civil with an aim to publish content on a decentralized platform.
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The Daily: Argentina Meets 2019 With New BATMs, Russia Budgets Millions to Block Sites

In this edition of The Daily, we focus on the growing number of bitcoin ATMs in Argentina. Five new devices have been installed recently in Buenos Aires. We also look at a report that Russia’s telecom watchdog plans to spend millions of dollars to restrict access to banned websites and services such as Telegram. And in Greece, the suspected BTC-e operator Alexander Vinnik has been hospitalized after a month-long hunger strike in prison. Also read: The Daily: Bitfinex Launches Tether Margin Trading, Zebpay Resumes BCH Transactions Five New Bitcoin ATMs Installed in Argentina’s Capital In a bearish year, cryptocurrencies have enjoyed growing popularity in Argentina, a major South American economy that has been through some hard times in the past decades. For example, the trade between BTC and the Argentine peso on the P2P platform Localbitcoins has seen rising volumes throughout 2018. It reached a record high of almost 9.5 million peso (~$250,000) in the week of Dec. 8, according to market data compiled by Coindance. The number of teller machines exchanging fiat with digital money has also increased significantly and Argentina is now ranking among the countries with the most crypto ATMs on the continent, the Cripto Noticias news outlet reported. Since September, a company called Athena Bitcoin has installed five new devices in shopping malls and supermarkets in Buenos Aires. That brings the total number of bitcoin ATMs in the country to seven. Two other teller machines were installed in the capital city in 2017. New BATMs have been popping up across the region this year, with dozens of devices now operating in countries like Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, and Mexico. 2018 has also seen the number of cryptocurrency teller machines around the world double to over 4,000 devices, as news.Bitcoin.com recently reported. Most of these ATMs support major cryptocurrencies such as BTC, ETH and LTC. The number of devices exchanging BCH has increased to almost 1,400. Watchdog to Spend Millions on Blocking Online Services Roskomnadzor, Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media, is planning to acquire new technology to better combat banned websites and online platforms. The agency is ready to spend up to 20 billion rubles (over $500 million) on its implementation, BBC Russian Service has learned. Sources familiar with the project have been quoted by the media. The report comes after a year of futile attempts to block Telegram, the popular messenger used by millions of crypto enthusiasts around the world. Its operator, founded by Russian entrepreneur Pavel Durov, is fighting a court decision to ban the service in Russia after it refused to hand over its encryption keys to the Federal Security Service, the country’s major security agency. According to the BBC, Roskomnadzor is planning to use DPI (deep packet inspection) technology to improve its efforts to restrict access to Telegram and other banned platforms. Currently, Roskomnadzor is trying to curb traffic to these websites and services by blocking the IP addresses they use. This approach, however, has affected many other businesses that have nothing to do with the messaging app. For example, this past spring the regulator blocked around 11 million IP addresses and 20 VPN and proxy services offering access to Telegram. Despite the offensive, the messenger is still accessible in Russia and has even increased its users to 3.4 million. According to Russian media, Roskomnadzor may also use the technology to block access to unregulated crypto platforms such as digital asset exchanges. BTC-e Operator Alexander Vinnik Hospitalized in Prison Alexander Vinnik, the alleged operator of the infamous BTC-e exchange, has been hospitalized, his lawyer Timofey Musatov told RIA Novosti. Musatov wasn’t able to reveal any more details, but in the last week of November Vinnik went on a hunger strike to protest against prison conditions and violations of his rights by the Greek judiciary. The Russian IT specialist was arrested in Thessaloniki last summer on a warrant issued by the U.S. where he is accused of laundering between $4 and $9 billion through the now defunct crypto trading platform, including bitcoins stolen in the Mt Gox hack. His native Russia as well as France have also requested his extradition on charges of other crimes. Last week, the Supreme Court of Greece ruled that Vinnik should be handed over to the French authorities. His defense team claims the extradition request filed by Paris has already expired. Vinnik himself told Russian journalists in the court room that he would continue his protest in case Greece decides to extradite him to France, Tass reported. He also said he had lost 9 kilograms of body weight since he started the hunger strike. What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits? Tell us in the comments section. Images courtesy of Shutterstock. Make sure you do not miss any important Bitcoin-related news! Follow our news feed any which way you prefer; via Twitter, Facebook, Telegram, RSS or email (scroll down to the bottom of this page to subscribe). We’ve got daily, weekly and quarterly summaries in newsletter form. Bitcoin never sleeps. Neither do we. The post The Daily: Argentina Meets 2019 With New BATMs, Russia Budgets Millions to Block Sites appeared first on Bitcoin News.
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Argentina Gets 7 New Bitcoin ATMs For Christmas

Argentina ends the year on a Bitcoin high, as Athena Bitcoin Argentina rolls out seven Bitcoin ATMs (BATMs) with more to come. This now makes it the country with the fourth highest number of BATMs in Latin America. Argentina Getting More Bitcoin ATMs Before 2018, Argentina was faring rather badly in terms of BATM numbers, with only two in the whole country. Both of these were in the capital, Buenos Aries, although one was a very cool looking ‘arcade‘ machine, which also acted as an educational tool. One of the designers of the arcade ATM, Santiago Molins, is now Director of Innovation at Athena Bitcoin. His vision for a Bitcoin-savvy Argentina is clearly a lot larger in scope. The company has installed five new machines since September, in high traffic locations like shopping malls and Walmart stores. These are all in Buenos Aries, and Molins says there are another two devices not yet showing on CoinATMRadar. He added that before the end of 2018, they will install another device in the nearby city of La Plata. And then in January. Molins explained: The idea is to put in the first and second week of January the last ones that we have left in the laboratory, which would be two or three more. At this moment we are covering the Federal Capital, Buenos Aires and its surroundings. Why The Sudden Increase? Certainly, the jump from two Bitcoin ATMs to twelve or thirteen is a fairly impressive gain. The reasoning behind it, however, is somewhat less impressive, as sadly Argentina is going through a similar financial crisis to Venezuela. While in humanitarian terms, the situation is a far cry from Venezuela’s economic turmoil, inflation in the country is rampant. LocalBitcoins volumes have spiked, as residents flock to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in an attempt to protect their savings. Expect to see a further influx of BATMs in the next year if the Argentinian economy doesn’t get any better. But What About The 4000 ATMs Promised? A very good point. In May, Bitcoinist reported that easing of regulations was set to see an explosion of ATMs across the country. US firm Odyssey touted a pre-agreed 4000 of the machines and claimed to have already installed 200 the previous year. Apparently, that was all talk and no trousers. Back in October, Odyssey was still supposedly planning 150 ATMs by the end of this year, of which 80% were to be operational by the end of January 2019. This was to be followed by about 1600 BATMs by the end of next year. Seems it’s best to count the devices on the ground, rather than the ones in some executives head. Can Bitcoin ATMs boost adoption and help people avoid inflation in Latin America? Share your thoughts below! Images courtesy of Shutterstock The post Argentina Gets 7 New Bitcoin ATMs For Christmas appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.
Bitcoinist

Venezuela and Argentina Are Buying the Dip, New Data Shows

If you look at the latest activity on Localbitcoins, there has been a large spike in recent days from both Argentina and Venezuela buying bitcoins. Both these troubled Latin American countries have displayed a steady increase in buying cryptocurrency due to rising inflation and troubled economies. But is the sudden uptick evidence of the two countries buying the dip? What’s Happening in Venezuela? Looking at the charts, one of the first things you notice is that bitcoin purchases in Venezuela didn’t really begin in earnest until the second quarter of this year. Since April of 2018, the volume has increased from around 17 million to over 3 billion for the second week of December 2018, where it rises astronomically. This likely indicates a lack of knowledge, trust or means to purchase virtual currency. But as the economic situation has worsened and the government devalued the national currency by 95 percent from one day to the next, more and more Venezuelans are looking to shield their wealth. Bitcoinist spoke to Eugenia Alcalá Sucre who founded Dash Venezuela earlier this year and she explained the many problems in Venezuela that prohibit them using their national currency. Not only is its value almost entirely wiped out from one day to the next but there is a limit to the amount you can take out of machines and a scarcity of notes. She said: Bills are really, really scarce. You go to the bank and they only give you a little amount. They have limits. Even though you have the money in the bank you can’t take it out. Venezuela is one of the most important countries for Dash cryptocurrency acceptance, with more than 2,500 merchants taking it including KFC. While the western world is in panic at the crashing crypto market, for Venezuelans, it’s still a better option than their national coin. They’ve been using bitcoin (BTC) 00 to shield their wealth despite the value going down. Volume Keeps Rising However, the recent spike on Localbitcoins could indicate that more people are getting in as a lower price makes buying bitcoins more accessible. Bitcoinist spoke to Rodrigo Marques CEO of Latin America’s largest crypto company and bitcoin investing platform Atlas Quantum. He said: Look at the countries in Latin America, especially Venezuela and Argentina. It’s very hard for people to move money outside of these countries and people see bitcoin as a way to protect their investments. So it’s not just a matter of it’s faster and more stable, but making it possible for some people in some place to actually hold on to what they own, protecting their wealth. A Look at Argentina Argentina is in a similar situation, and Bitcoinist has been reporting on how Argentinians are using cryptocurrency to protect their wealth from inflation. Reports of easing regulation could also see as many as 4,000 bitcoin ATMs in Argentina go online in the near future. However, the number currently still stands at two. According to Reuters, though, this is expected to rise to 30 by the end of the year. Argentina is not undergoing a humanitarian crisis the likes of Venezuela. However, it is no stranger to inflation, which can almost be defined as hyperinflation since it is expected to reach 40 percent by the end of the year. Moreover, the Argentine peso has lost more than 50 percent of its value against the dollar in 2018 alone. This makes it extremely hard for Argentinians to buy outside goods, to leave the country, or to protect their wealth. Unlike Venezuela that is relatively new to cryptocurrencies, Argentina has demonstrated a longer history of buying bitcoins. Like Venezuela, though, it looks as if the dip of the week of November 24 when bitcoin was over $4,000 and the psychological barrier to it falling well under $4,000 now has encouraged more to jump on the bandwagon. Are Argentina and Venezuela Buying the Dip? Are Argentina and Venezuela buying the dip? It’s possible. However, the uptick also appears to coincide with the most influential Bitcoin and Blockchain conference in Latin America held on December 6 in Santiago Chile, LA Bit Conf. As we’ve seen, trading volumes of bitcoin tend to rally upon an event or announcement. https://twitter.com/lingzh1220/status/1071770449435127809 Moreover, Chile despite a much lower volume of trading in the first week of December, also saw a huge uptick that coincides with the event. Are Venezuela and Argentina buying the Bitcoin dip? Share your thoughts! Images courtesy of Shutterstock The post Venezuela and Argentina Are Buying the Dip, New Data Shows appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.
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All in this week’s News Digest: McAfee still has a lot of faith in crypto, Robert Shiller explains the roots of this faith, more new exchanges are coming, an investigation into Bitcoin price manipulation, and Verge is hacked again.

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Ripple’s RippleNet XRP Showcases Real-World Effectiveness: Mercury FX

After partnering up with the firm behind the second largest coin XRP [XRP] Ripple as one of the +200 costumers, Mercury FX announced via their official twitter handle that they transacted their largest payment across RippleNet with a positive conclusion. 1/1 We've made our largest payments across RippleNet using #XRP – 86,633.00 pesos (£3,521.67) from the U.K. to Mexico in seconds. pic.twitter.com/WsHJuZTiOy — Mercury-fx Ltd (@mercury_fx_ltd) January 17, 2019 Using XRP, the firm transferred £3,521.67 or $4,552.41 while they cited that UK based Mustard Foods was able to save £79.17 and 31 hours on the transaction. Mustard Foods could be one of the best examples of the impact of using RippleNet could have as it opened doors to cheaper expenses, quicker orders and faster payments. As covered by John P. Njui on EWN a few days ago, The Ripple company has announced via its website that 13 new financial institutions have joined RippleNet thus propelling the number of total global customers to over 200. RippleNet currently operates in 40 countries across 6 continents. Out of the 13 aforementioned financial institutions, 5 are confirmed as using XRP to source instant liquidity for their cross border payments. The are JNFX, SendFriend, Transpaygo, FTCS and Euro Exim Bank. By the end of this year [2018], major banks will use xRapid as a liquidity tool. By the end of next year [2019], I would certainly hope that we will see…in the order of magnitude…of dozens. But we also need to continue to grow that ecosystem…grow the liquidity. – Brad Garlinghouse The success behind the team from Ripple could be standing by their marketing strategy and future plans of making the financial industry a better place to be. While not displacing traditional banking systems but helping them make payments cheaper and faster, it is finding its way to take spotlight in the crypto-verse. The post Ripple’s RippleNet XRP Showcases Real-World Effectiveness: Mercury FX appeared first on Ethereum World News.
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BRD Wallet Expands Crypto User Access Across Europe With Coinify Partnership

Coinify, a European-based financial platform that provides a wallet, trading and payment processing solution, has announced that they are integrating BRD Wallet into their platform to deliver BRD wallet access to users across the European region.Specifically, the partnership provides access to virtual currencies, like bitcoin, to 34 countries across the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). The SEPA region is a collection of member states in Europe who are part of a payment system that simplifies bank transfers denominated in EUR. The launch is also enabled largely in part by Coinify’s newly rebranded trading solution for wallet partners.Customers will now be able to use BRD Wallet to “purchase bitcoin at cost-efficient rates with SEPA bank transfers” within Coinify’s trading platform. With BRD integration, customers will also retain control over their private keys while using Coinify.Essentially, this provides a large number of users with an efficient and secure way to buy bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and then allows them to immediately store it in a manner where they control what happens to their money. Typically, a user will entrust the custody of their private keys to a centralized exchange while they are waiting for trades to be executed and sometimes for much longer than that.Aaron Lasher, co-founder and chief strategy officer at BRD, highlighted the advantages of the integration for security-focused users of the Coinify platform.“We like exchanges and think security will get better in the future, but by using our integrated purchase and trading solutions, you get to keep your funds under your control 99 percent of the time, and only put them at a slightly higher risk for a short period when you make the exchange,” Lasher told Bitcoin Magazine.“Using a non-custodial wallet means that you and you alone control your funds. It’s similar to having physical cash in a (highly secure) safe at home. Only in this case, we provide our customers a digital safe (the BRD wallet) that they can keep in their pocket and carry along. Nobody else in the world has access to your funds but you, and nobody can stop you from sending or receiving funds.”Integrating a wallet that allows users to own their funds and seamlessly make trades on a platform like Coinify could help to push bitcoin adoption forward."The financial industry is ripe for disruption and we see bitcoin and the other virtual currencies as the future of payments,” said Rikke Stær, chief commercial officer at Coinify, told Bitcoin Magazine. “At Coinify, we have experienced first-hand the rising adoption of bitcoin and working with BRD as a user-friendly, decentralized wallet will only encourage the global reach of the currency."“Since launching as the first iOS bitcoin wallet in the App Store over 4 years ago, we’ve grown tremendously in North America,“ Adam Traidman, CEO and co-founder of BRD, said in a statement. “Europe will be strategic in the next phase of BRD’s global growth, and the partnership with Coinify will ensure our success in this crucial endeavour.”In August 2018, Canadian-based Coinberry exchange launched a similar BRD integration, allowing users to quickly and seamlessly buy, deposit and withdraw bitcoin on the Coinberry platform, while keeping control of their keys at all times. This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.
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Crypto Payments Service BitPay Reports It Saw Over $1 Billion in Transactions in 2018

Crypto Payments Service BitPay Reports It Saw Over $1 Billion in Transactions in 2018 Major cryptocurrency payment service provider BitPay has reported $1 billion in transactions this past year, according to a press release Jan. 16. According to the report, the company also set a new record for itself in terms of transaction fee revenue. […] Cet article Crypto Payments Service BitPay Reports It Saw Over $1 Billion in Transactions in 2018 est apparu en premier sur Bitcoin Central.
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