Weekend, May 19-20, ’18

Ethereum Network, Circle, Norway, Thomas Lee, Florida, Bitfinex, Tether, Singapore, Coincheck

  • Ethereum Network is stuck again after the launch of new games. CryptoKitties are long forgotten, but Ether Shrimp Farm, Ether Cartel and Pepe Farm have congested the chain, being the cause of the gas fees doubling.
  • Circle, a global crypto finance company, affiliated with Goldman Sachs, has announced a possibility of issuing their own stablecoin, the Circle USD Coin (USDC). It will be an ERC-20 token, backed by CIrcle and supported by Bitmain. The details are still unclear.
  • The Central Bank of Norway could be ready to develop its own digital currency. A few days ago Norway was named one of the friendliest countries to crypto. The Norges Bank explains the necessity of digital currency issuance by a decline in cash usage. Also, it could rebound the confidence in Norway's monetary system.
  • Thomas Lee has admitted that his prediction of Bitcoin rally after Consensus 2018 was wrong. He predicted the crypto market to grow significantly, instead it lost nearly 10% of its capitalization. Tom Lee blames it on the lack of a clarity in regulations. Anyway, he still expects it to happen by the end of the year.
  • US Goverment Agency now accepts BTC and BCH as a payment for property taxes. All citizens within Florida's Seminole County will be able to pay their taxes with crypto thanks to the recently elected Tax Collector Joel Greenberg, who signed an agreement with BitPay, declaring that he wants to bring government services from the 18th century into the 21st century.
  • Bitfinex has sent a letter to many of its customers, asking to provide their tax information. This was made in order to comply to a new law in the British Islands which requires them to provide the BVI government with such information. The exchange has already announced their plans to relocate the business to Zug in Switzerland, thus it could evade the necessity to provide any information about its customers to anyone.
  • Tether issued another 250 million of USDT tokens. It's still in question if their tokens are backed by anything. However, the price of BTC and ETH increased within an hour of issuing USDT tokens.
  • Singapore is emerging fast as one of leading countries in blockchain adoption.  Singapore’s Central Bank began a program called 'Project Ubin' to explore the potential of blockchain technology in regards to clearing and settling payments and securities. Recently, its first phase was successfully completed. Now it moves to more difficult goals.
  • Japanese exchange Coincheck will delist four anonymous cryptocurrencies. It must be done in order to comply with the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist measures issued by Japan’s financial regulator, the FSA.

BTC

3,674 USD
0.93%

ETH

123.17 USD
0.34%

USDT

1.01 USD
1.00%

ZEC

54.20 USD
2.33%

BCH

129.77 USD
1.81%

DASH

72.85 USD
1.15%

REP

14.53 USD
-6.68%

XMR

46.01 USD
-1.11%

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What Death Spiral? Bitcoin’s Hashrate is Still Climbing

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Coinstar Kiosks Across the United States Will Now Sell Bitcoin, at a Hefty Fee

The same bulk coin-counting machines that turn spare change into bills at the grocery store can now turn bills into bitcoin. Coinme, a Seattle-based Bitcoin ATM company, has partnered with Coinstar to enable Bitcoin purchases at grocery stores in California, Texas, and Washington. Example of a kiosk. Image courtesy of Coinstar Coinstar machines are large coin-cashing kiosks located at grocery stores, drug stores, and other retail locations in the UK, US, Canada, and Ireland. Shoppers frequently use the machines to convert loose change into bills or gift cards. Today, Coinstar operates over 20,000 of these machines across the world. On Jan. 17th, Coinme, the first state-licensed Bitcoin ATM company in the U.S., announced a partnership with Coinstar to offer bitcoin on the coin-counting kiosks. Users are now able to purchase up to $2,500 worth of bitcoin at these machines at select Safeway and Albertson stores in California, Texas, and Washington. Those who purchase bitcoin at one of these kiosks would receive a voucher that is redeemable for bitcoin on the Coinme website. The company advertises the plan as the “easiest and most convenient way to buy cryptocurrency with cash,” but opinions may differ. Steeps Fees and Glaring Exceptions Unfortunately, these Bitcoin ATMs are notorious for their high fees. Each Coinme transaction comes with a 4 percent service fee, not including the trading spread (the difference between the buy and sell price of bitcoin on an exchange), which could make the real cost of buying even higher. For comparison, Coinbase charges a fee of 1.49 percent. When dealing with several thousand dollar purchases, these fees add up. Meanwhile, Coinstar has even steeper fees. Customers that want to count their coins are charged a hefty 11.9 percent fee, for a service that many banks provide for free. The most perplexing part of the announcement is that “coins cannot be used for Bitcoin transactions,” a major selling point for customers who would rather turn their spare coins into BTC. Plans for Expansion If successful, the company plans to expand to other retailers and locations in the United States. Thousands of these machines could be enabled to facilitate bitcoin transactions. Neil Bergquist, Coinme’s co-founder had this to say about the move: “We’re excited to team up with Coinstar to give consumers a convenient and easy way to buy Bitcoin during the course of their daily routines. Bitcoin is no accessible at your local grocery store via Coinstar kiosks, and this offering will make it even easier for consumers to participate in this dynamic new economy.” Meanwhile, according to Coinstar’s CEO Jim Gaherity: “Coinstar is always looking for new ways to offer value to our consumers when they visit our kiosks, and Coinme’s innovative delivery mechanism along with Coinstar’s flexible platform makes it possible for consumers to easily purchase Bitcoin with cash.” Maybe with the novelty and hype around bitcoin, people will overlook the fact that they can buy bitcoin much more cheaply elsewhere. But, for people looking to sample the nascent cryptocurrency, this is a great way to get started. The post Coinstar Kiosks Across the United States Will Now Sell Bitcoin, at a Hefty Fee appeared first on CryptoSlate.
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Coinstar Machines in Select US States Now Sell BTC Vouchers

On Jan. 17, financial services company Coinme announced that people visiting select Safeway and Albertsons stores in California, Texas, and Washington can now purchase bitcoin core (BTC) through Coinstar kiosks. Coinstar devices are fully automated self-service coin-counting machines and now thousands located in the U.S. market could be equipped to handle cryptocurrency transactions. Also Read: Markets Update: Crypto Prices Drift Sideways While Traders Remain Uncertain Loose Change and Cryptocurrency On Thursday, Coinme revealed that people can now purchase BTC through the coin-counting Coinstar kiosks located in three states. Coinstar machines housed in Albertsons stores and Safeway marts in Texas, California, and Washington can be used to buy up to $2,500 worth of BTC. After inserting fiat into the machine, users receive a voucher with a BTC redemption code that can be redeemed at Coinme’s website. Buyers are obliged to review and accept the Coinstar kiosk’s transaction terms and enter a phone number as well. Coinstar has 20,000 machines located around the world and if the initial launch is successful, the two companies plan to extend the service to additional U.S. markets and retailers. “Coinstar is always looking for new ways to offer value to our consumers when they visit our kiosks, and Coinme’s innovative delivery mechanism along with Coinstar’s flexible platform makes it possible for consumers to easily purchase Bitcoin with cash,” said Coinstar CEO Jim Gaherity on Thursday. Reddit user u/dacoinminster bought some BTC on Thursday morning and uploaded this photo to r/btc, and r/bitcoin.  Coinme Continues to Expand Its Crypto Kiosk and ATM Network Coinme has been in the cryptocurrency automated teller machine (ATM) and kiosk business since 2014 and was the first state-licensed Bitcoin ATM company in the country. Last May the company deployed a slew of ATMs in California, bringing its total locations in the state to 23. Coinme also provides a vertically-integrated digital wallet, digital exchange, and crypto investment services, including IRA and 401K plans. The company says it plans to continue to expand in the U.S. and worldwide and the partnership with Coinstar is part of this major expansion progress. “We’re excited to team up with Coinstar to give consumers a convenient and easy way to buy bitcoin during the course of their daily routines,” said Neil Bergquist, Coinme’s cofounder and CEO. Bergquist added: Bitcoin is now accessible at your local grocery store via Coinstar kiosks, and this offering will make it even easier for consumers to participate in this dynamic new economy. U.S.-based cryptocurrency fans seem to like the idea of Coinstar machines selling bitcoins, as the machines are already very popular for people turning in loose change. Bitcoin users have been testing out the Coinstar kiosks, as a picture of someone purchasing BTC was posted to the subreddit forums r/bitcoin and r/btc earlier today. The machines may do well, given that people dumping large buckets of pennies and nickels now have the opportunity convert that change into digital currency after cashing out their coins. What do you think about Coinstar machines in the U.S. selling bitcoin? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below. Images via Coinstar, Pixabay, and the Reddit user u/dacoinminster. Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH, and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com. The post Coinstar Machines in Select US States Now Sell BTC Vouchers appeared first on Bitcoin News.
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