One Day After the Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork: Takeaways and Latest Developments

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Just Posted By MarketRanger https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/one-day-after-bitcoin-cash-hard-fork-takeaways-and-latest-developments/

One Day After the Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork: Takeaways and Latest Developments

Bitcoin Cash, the “big block” project that forked away from the Bitcoin blockchain in August 2017, “hard forked” (split) into two different coins: “Bitcoin Cash ABC” (BCH ABC) and “Bitcoin Cash SV” (BCH SV).

At the time of writing, the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain has more accumulated proof of work, and its native currency, BCH ABC, is trading higher on (futures) exchanges. Most Bitcoin Cash ABC proponents, therefore, feel victorious — though many Bitcoin Cash SV proponents have not yet conceded defeat.

Well over a day since the split, here are the main takeaways and latest developments.

Checkpoint Controversy

It turns out that the Bitcoin ABC development team had a trick up its sleeve — and not everyone is happy with that. The developers included an unannounced checkpoint in their latest software release, which was distributed several hours after the fork.

The checkpoint enforces inclusion of the first Bitcoin Cash ABC block as a new protocol rule. Any chain without this block would be considered invalid by this Bitcoin ABC software client. This has the effect that adversarial miners are unable to override (“re-org”) the entire Bitcoin Cash ABC chain — which was one of the potential threats posed by a “hash war.”

The checkpoint is controversial, however, as it implies central control from the Bitcoin ABC development team over the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain. Where nodes usually follow the longest valid proof-of-work chain, a checkpoint is perceived to override this proof-of-work consensus mechanism.

Of course, users ultimately decide which software they run and can opt to reject the checkpointed version of Bitcoin ABC. But this opens up the risk of the checkpoint causing another split — this time, on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain, creating “Bitcoin Cash ABC Checkpoint” and “Bitcoin Cash ABC Classic.” (These names are just hypothetical, made up for the purpose of this article.)

That said, such a split seems unlikely at the moment. According to forkmonitor.info, it would cost around $1 million to pull off at the time of writing this article.

Future Attacks

While Bitcoin Cash ABC proponents generally seem confident of their “victory,” many Bitcoin Cash SV proponents are not conceding defeat.

For example, nChain chief scientist and the main man behind Bitcoin SV, Craig Steven Wright, tweeted that the “hash war” is a marathon, not a sprint: implying attacks are still coming. Coingeek and its owner, Calvin Ayre, similarly claim the hash war has only just started. Other Bitcoin Cash SV proponents also anticipate other types of attacks (like a type of spam attack dubbed “Satoshi’s Shotgun”). All this will eventually obliterate the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain, they say.

There is no evidence of these types of attacks coming, perhaps with the exception of Satoshi’s Shotgun. The Bitcoin Cash network did experience a big spam-type of attack last week, and there was also much spam on the Bitcoin Cash network around the time of the hard fork. This may have been a precursor.

It is also true that the status of the Bitcoin Cash ABC network was unusual for the past day, as an excessive amount of hash power was securing it (excessive relative to its respective profitability, which suggests miners were mining at a loss). This was in part because the bitcoin.com pool temporarily diverted its hash power from mining Bitcoin to mining Bitcoin Cash ABC.

Over time, it is to be expected that the amount of hash power securing the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain will decrease to normal levels (normal relative to the expected profitability). The Bitcoin Cash ABC network would then also be more susceptible to 51-percent attacks.

Name and Tickers

With Bitcoin Cash split into two different coins, there is some contention about the names of both.

What is clear, however, is that the two main software implementations are called “Bitcoin ABC” and “Bitcoin SV.”

So far, Bitcoin Magazine has for the purpose of this article referred to the protocol and blockchain based on the Bitcoin ABC implementation as “Bitcoin Cash ABC,” while the protocol and blockchain based on Bitcoin SV has been called “Bitcoin Cash SV.” The respective currency tickers used have been “BCH ABC” and “BCH SV.” But not everyone uses these names and tickers.

Many Bitcoin Cash ABC supporters in particular instead consider their protocol and blockchain to be “Bitcoin Cash,” and some probably even prefer “Bitcoin.” They also claim the ticker “BCH.”

Many Bitcoin Cash SV proponents feel it’s too soon to rename anything, as they still think there will be only one chain left standing in the end: Bitcoin Cash SV, to be named “Bitcoin Cash” (or “Bitcoin”) with the ticker “BCH.”

Others have come up with different names and (especially) ticker symbols altogether. These most notably include “BAB” for BCH ABC and “BSV” for BCH SV. And some exchanges don’t list BCH SV at all.

For a more complete overview of the different names and tickers, see this article.

For more information about yesterday’s hard fork, see this article.

Thanks to Sjors Provoost for feedback and additional sources.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

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Report: Bitcoin Scam Compromising Google and Target Accounts Came from Third Party App

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Just Posted By MarketRanger https://cointelegraph.com/news/report-bitcoin-scam-compromising-google-and-target-accounts-came-from-third-party-app

Bitcoin scammers that posted BTC giveaways on Google and Target verified accounts reportedly used a third-party app

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Time-Travel Crypto Once Backed by Trump-Appointed Acting Attorney General

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Just Posted By MarketRanger https://www.newsbtc.com/2018/11/16/time-travel-crypto-once-backed-by-trump-appointed-acting-attorney-general/

Acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker once was involved in an alleged scam promoting strange inventions, including a time-travel cryptocurrency.

Attorney General Matthew Whitaker Backed an Alleged Scam Company

Earlier this month, United States President Donald Trump ousted Attorney General Jeff Sessions from his post after Trump grew increasingly frustrated with Sessions’ recusal from the Russia probe. 

In his place, Trump appointed the Chief of Staff under Sessions, Matthew Whitaker, to the role of acting U.S. Attorney General.

The move sparked much controversy, with critics condemning Trump appointing Whitaker without approval from the Senate, which according to some violates the Constitution. And as is always the case with newly-appointed politicians, a witch hunt ensued and Whitaker’s shady past was uncovered.

Invention Scam Firm Worked on a Time Travel Cryptocurrency

Whitaker’s peppered history could have been erased, if the time-travel cryptocurrency he once backed ever came to fruition.

It turns out, Whitaker was once paid at least $10,000 in 2014 to serve on the advisory board of an invention company called World Patent Marketing. The newly-appointed Attorney General appeared in promotional videos, provided quotes in press materials, and in general showed a strong association with World Patent Marketing.

“As a former U.S. Attorney, I would only align myself with a first class organization,” he said in a press release issued by World Patent Marketing from back in 2014. 

Except World Patent Marketing ended up potentially being a complete scam, with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission filing a complaint against the firm over reports from consumers who went in debt or lost the entirety of their investments with the invention firm. 

The company was ordered by a Florida judge to close its doors for good and was forced to pay a settlement of $25 million.

Related Reading: Former Trump Advisor Joins Blockchain Startup

Among the invention scams World Patent Marketing was involved in, one such invention involved a cryptocurrency called Time Travel X that never saw the light of day.

Time Travel X was dubbed a “theoretical time travel commodity tied directly to price of Bitcoin.” In 2016, the company attempted to raise funds for the project by asking for bitcoin donations so World Patent Marketing could “make time travel a reality.”

As if a time travel cryptocurrency wasn’t strange enough, World Patent Marketing also announced a “masculine toilet” invention for “well-endowed men” so they can avoid having their genitalia touch toilet water. 

The firm also tried to bring Sasquatch dolls to retail, and suggested that Bigfoot does indeed exist, and that DNA evidence proved it.

Considering Attorney Generals like Matthew Whitaker are said to act as the “People’s Lawyer” for all citizens, the fact that Whitaker was involved in a company that was taken to court by the FTC for scamming consumers, is worrisome, and certainly calls Whitaker’s integrity into question.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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SEC Orders Airfox and Paragon to Return Millions to Investors on ICO Registration Violations

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Just Posted By MarketRanger https://www.newsbtc.com/2018/11/16/sec-orders-airfox-and-paragon-to-return-millions-to-investors-on-ico-registration-violations/

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has settled charges against two cryptocurrency companies which were accused of violating ICO securities offering registration rules.

Both firms, Carrier EQ (Airfox) and Paragon Coin sold digital tokens in ICOs in 2017 after the regulator’s official stance on the ICO. Some crypto fundraisers can be considered securities offerings, according to its DAO Report of Investigation.

Airfox and Paragon Settle Charges with SEC for ICO Registration Violations, $250 in Penalties

As part of the settlement, both cryptocurrency companies will return funds to harmed investors, register the tokens as securities, file periodic reports with the Commission, and pay $250,000 in penalties.

Neither one has admitted or denied the findings made by the SEC, but they have consented to the orders.

Carrier EQ (Airfox), a firm which facilitates the transfer of mobile airtime, data and currency, as well as payments for goods and services, raised $15 million from selling over a million AirTokens on October 2017.

The company had closed its $6.5 million ICO pre-sale weeks earlier than scheduled. The Boston-based blockchain company intended to use the money to develop a micro-loans program and expand abroad to emerging markets.

Paragon Coin, which focuses its blockchain platform on the cannabis industry, raised approximately $12 million worth of digital assets to work toward legalization of cannabis and implement its business plan.

Related Reading: Crypto Week in Review: SEC Fines EtherDelta, Binance to Attract Institutions

The funds would be used to make supply chains more efficient and manageable, increase transparency regarding the origin of seeds and produces, as well as allowing payments between different parties.

These are the Commission’s first cases imposing civil penalties solely for ICO securities offering registration violations. Airfox and Paragon Coin failed to register their crypto fundraisers pursuant to the federal securities laws nor did they qualify for an exemption to the registration requirements, Stephanie Avakian, co-director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, said in a statement.

“We have made it clear that companies that issue securities through ICOs are required to comply with existing statutes and rules governing the registration of securities. These cases tell those who are considering taking similar actions that we continue to be on the lookout for violations of the federal securities laws with respect to digital assets.”

Munchee was the Commission’s first non-fraud ICO registration case. The visual review and social networking app for food failed to register with the financial watchdog, but stopped its offering before delivering any tokens and promptly returned proceeds to investors.

The company was seeking to raise up to $15 million from thousands of investors ‎to develop an iPhone app for restaurant meal reviews. The SEC did not impose a penalty or include undertakings from Munchee.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Oxfam Officially Launches Blockchain-Based Program That Empowers Farmers

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Just Posted By MarketRanger https://www.newsbtc.com/2018/11/16/oxfam-officially-launches-blockchain-based-program-that-empowers-farmers/

Oxfam has officially launched their blockchain-based program, called BlocRice, that is aimed at giving farmers significantly more negotiation power and to increase the efficiency of the supply chain by connecting buyers and suppliers directly through their system.

The new program, which has undergone successful trials in Cambodia, has a primary goal of increasing revenues for farmers, who can be severely underpaid, by allowing them to form agricultural cooperatives that operate similarly to labor unions, that ensure that agriculture product prices rise across the board.

Solinn Lim, the country director of Oxfam in Cambodia, spoke about the launch of the BlocRice initiative, explaining that it will promote the use of smart contracts between organic rice farmers and exporters in Cambodia, and buyers in the Netherlands.

“BlocRice promotes the use of such digital contracts as tools for social and economic empowerment. The application of blockchain technology is expected to enhance the negotiation power of small-scale farmers in their rice value chains, who are usually poor primary producers,” Lim explained.

The use of blockchain-based smart contracts will be cohesive between all the parties in the supply chain, and Oxfam has already negotiated and facilitated the use of these products between rice farmers in Cambodia’s Preah Vihear province, exporters in Cambodia, and SanoRice, the Dutch rice cracker manufacturer.

Lim added that all the information regarding the sourcing, transportation, and use of the rice, will be shared through a central, blockchain-based, system that will allow for a more cohesive and transparent relationship between all involved parties.

“BlocRice promotes the use of such digital contracts as tools for social and economic empowerment. The application of blockchain technology is expected to enhance the negotiation power of small-scale farmers in their rice value chains, who are usually poor primary producers,” she explained.

Furthermore, BlocRice’s modernization of the rice ecosystem will also introduce cashless payments to farmers, many of which previously did not have bank accounts, using accounts provided by Acleda bank.

Related Reading: Oxfam to Empower Cambodian Rice Farmers with Blockchain

The Positive Benefits of Blockchain on Humanity

Oxfam’s latest initiative provides a perfect example of how blockchain technology can enhance lives by empowering individuals and rebalancing power-relationships between parties participating in business relationships, including trade.

Song Saran, the CEO of Amru Rice, one of the companies that will be participating in BlocRice as an exporter, spoke about the positive impacts of the initiative, saying that it will “increase transparency, traceability, fairness and trust in the supply chain by and enhance the livelihoods of farmers.”

Saran further added that although the BlocRice initiative will initially be exclusive to rise products, the same system and concept could easily be applied to other products and even other industries, adding that if it’s successful, it could be expanded to all of the communities currently exporting through Amru Rice.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Tesla has opened up Model 3 orders to customers in China

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Just Posted By MarketRanger https://techcrunch.com/2018/11/16/tesla-has-opened-up-model-3-orders-to-customers-in-china/

Tesla is now taking orders for the Model 3 from customers in China, according to its website.

Reuters was the first to report that Tesla is taking orders in China.

Tesla won’t confirm or comment on the information published on its own China-focused website. Tesla CEO Elon Musk did say in a tweet Thursday that some deliveries to customers in China will probably begin in March, but “April is more certain.”

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Customers must place a deposit of 8,000 yuan, or about $1,153, to begin their booking, according to materials on Tesla’s China website. They are eventually invited to configure the car to their liking (items such as paint color and other features). Once they complete the car purchase agreement, the remaining amount is due. 

It appears, based on the FAQs section, that Tesla will make most of the options (including the Performance variant) that are available in the U.S. accessible to Chinese customers, as well. It’s unclear if the cheaper mid-range version of the Model 3 will be sold in China.

Tesla has had mixed success in China, home of the world’s largest EV market. When Tesla first began delivering Model S vehicles to China in 2014, the company went on a hiring spree and eventually amassed a staff of 600 people. Tesla opened stores and service centers and erected fast-charging stations known as superchargers.

Tesla sold an estimated 3,500 cars in 2014, below its sales goal and behind electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles produced by Chinese rivals BYD and BAIC. Those sales continued to lag in the beginning of 2015. Tesla pulled off a turnaround in China by 2016, tripling its sales over the previous year, and extended gains into 2017.

Now, it’s facing new headwinds thanks to pressure from new tariffs.

Last month, Tesla announced plans to speed up construction of a factory in Shanghai as tariffs, shipping costs and missed incentives continue to drive up the price of the company’s electric vehicles and dampen demand.

Trade tensions between the U.S. and China have led to 40 percent tariffs on Tesla vehicles compared to 15 percent duties placed on imported autos from other countries. The tariffs, combined with the cost of shipping its vehicles via ocean carrier and the lack of access to cash incentives that are available to locally produced electric vehicles, has put the company at a disadvantage, the company warned at the time.

As a result, Tesla said it’s now operating at a 55 percent to 60 percent cost disadvantage compared to the exact same car locally produced in China.

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Court: Crypto Shill John McAfee Liable for Neighbor’s 2012 Death

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Just Posted By MarketRanger https://www.ccn.com/court-crypto-shill-john-mcafee-liable-for-neighbors-2012-death/

John McAfee, cryptocurrency enthusiast, presidential aspirant, and millionaire founder of the near-ubiquitous McAfee Antivirus, has been found legally liable for the death of his former neighbor, Gregory Faull, who was found dead with a gunshot wound to his head back in 2012, the Register reports. The final verdict was reached in a US district court in

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Battered Bitcoin Price Eyes Recovery as Dollar Slides

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Just Posted By MarketRanger https://www.ccn.com/battered-bitcoin-price-eyes-recovery-as-dollar-slides/

The bitcoin price on Friday plunged 0.85 percent against the US dollar, now trading at 5528-fiat. Bitcoin Price Seeks to Claw Back Lost Ground The digital currency has had a shocking week so far, with its value losing almost $1,200 within just five days. Not only bitcoin, but the entire cryptocurrency market also had to “bear”

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Who Is Charile Shrem?

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Just Posted By MarketRanger https://coindiary.net/who-is-charile-shrem/

Today, Charlie Shrem’s life could be described as balanced. A married man who plans to have children soon, Shrem spends his time reorganizing his portfolio to reduce risk and plan for the future. This tranquil and peaceful life may come as a surprise to those who previously followed the crypto-wizard’s endeavors.  Characterized extreme highs and exorbitant lows, Shrem’s rollercoaster life has been more volatile than the price of bitcoin.

Childhood

Born in November of 1989, Charlie Shrem was raised in a Sephardic Syrian Jewish community in Brooklyn, N.Y.. The son of a jeweler and a stay at home mom, Shrem became acclimated to handling money and understanding the value of a dollar at a young age. Shrem recalled from his childhood that “[My parents] didn’t do anything to excess. They never just said, here’s a bunch of money do whatever you want… I had to be accountable for it… If I spent [my allowance] they wouldn’t give me more.” This austerity, combined with the rapidly growing price of his computer hobby, forced him to find a solution.

Shrem displayed a penchant for entrepreneurship at a young age. Utilizing his rapidly developing technological skills, he established himself as a local tech guru and began charging for his services. “People had computer issues at home … they didn’t know how to fix. And I realized that I can provide a good service just being someone that they [could] call on demand and I charged … 20 bucks an hour.” Shrem had so much success in his new business that he purchased his own car as a high school junior with absolutely no help from his parents.

Shrem’s initial financial success proved to be fleeting. Just one year later upon turning 18 years old, he received a credit card with a $6,000 spending limit. Thrilled with his new available funds, Shrem blew through them in a year, with a number of purchases that he characterized as “Just stupid things. Stupid things.” By the time he graduated, Shrem had racked up an astonishing $10,000 in debt. Although his father helped him restructure his debt, it still took him approximately two years to get himself back on track financially. This would prove to be the first of several boom and bust cycles that were emblematic of his previous turbulent lifestyle.

College Years

While a student at Brooklyn College, Shrem began working towards establishing his financial independence. In an effort to climb his way out of five figures of debt, Shrem diversified his portfolio and sought new ways to generate revenue. One of his first endeavors was the creation of the website dailycheckout.com, where he sold refurbished and used electronic equipment, pocketing $600 a week.

Shrem’s entrepreneurship continued throughout his years at Brooklyn College. As a college senior in 2011, Shrem began investing in Bitcoin while it was still in its infancy, before he lost his digital assets after the failure of his storage device. Owing to this event, Shrem and fellow Bitcoin enthusiast Gareth Nelson partnered to launch BitInstant, an ecommerce website designed to “help people convert dollars into Bitcoin.”  BitInstant became an immediate success; at one point in time, BitInstant was responsible for approximately 30% of all Bitcoin transactions. Through this new company, Shrem acquired a significant amount of wealth, claiming that at 22 years old he half a million dollars sitting in his checking account. BitInstant marked a considerable upswing in Shrem’s life.

Charlie Shrem Bit Instant

Charlie Shrem while running BitInstant

In addition to his entrepreneurial endeavors, Shrem was a founding member of the Bitcoin Foundation, alongside other notable cryptocurrency advocates such as Roger Ver. The Bitcoin Foundation is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to the “[standardization], [protection], and [promotion]… of bitcoin cryptographic money for the benefit of users worldwide.” In particular, Shrem was responsible for leading the partnerships and mergers of Fundación Bitcoin Argentina, Bitcoin Embassy of Canada, and Bitcoin Association of Australia, all in an effort to spread the gospel of bitcoin. Modeled on the Linux Foundation, the Bitcoin Foundation carries out its mission through grants from for-profit companies that utilize bitcoin technology.

Fall From Grace

Before long, Shrem and BitInstant began attracting unwanted attention. Shrem was notified by his lawyers that a BitInstant user was buying and flipping bitcoins on Silk Road, the illegal online black market. On the advice of his lawyers, Shrem and his associates shut down BitInstant on July 3, 2013. Because nobody lost any money, Shrem assumed that this was the end of the case, and moved on with other business ventures.

Charlie Shrem

Charlie Shrem a month before Arrest

Eight months later, Shrem’s quality of life plummeted. After returning to the United States from a convention in Amsterdam, Shrem landed at JFK Airport, only to find agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration and the IRS waiting for his arrival. Authorities held Shrem directly responsible for Robert Faiella’s scheme, and the following morning, Shrem learned the extent of his charges: one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, one count of failure to file a suspicious activity report, and one count of operating an unlicensed money transmitter.

All together, one of the first crypto millionaires was looking at 25 years in jail; ultimately, he ended up serving one year in prison, and was released in June 2016.

Release From Prison

Charlie Shrem left jail as a changed man. Upon his release, Shrem worked on reintegrating himself into society. Initially a struggle, Shrem did not return immediately return to his previous lifestyle. Shrem recalls that for he “…didn’t actually turn on a computer for two months… I didn’t get a cell phone and I didn’t turn on my iPhone… I was weird… I wasn’t ready.” Instead, Shrem took a low-key job in rural Pennsylvania, washing dishes for eight dollars an hour. Recalling this period of his life, Shrem said that he needed to be accountable, and spoke of how much he valued this time.

Conclusion

Currently residing in Sarasota, Florida, Charlie Shrem’s serene life is far removed from the chaos that defined his life in Brooklyn. Imbued with a new perspective on life, the Shrem of 2018 is thoughtful and grounded. Speaking of his wealth, the person who once had half a million in a checking account said “…I got to be smart. I’m getting married, we’ll have children eventually, I can’t, you know, I can’t speculate with my rent.”

Charlie Shrem

Charlie Shrem Today

Today, Charlie Shrem occupies himself with a number of new ventures. In October of 2017, Shrem founded CryptoIQ in Sarasota, Florida. A comprehensive stop for financial sources in the crypto industry, CryptoIQ and Shrem’s mission is “… to empower people by providing access to the world of Crypto.”  Shrem continues to advocate for wider adoption of bitcoin.

Wise and mature beyond his years, Charlie Shrem is the sum of admittedly disparate parts. As a part of the first generation of individuals who adopted bitcoin, Shrem’s ingenuity and foresight paved the way for future users. Despite his previous mistake, Shrem’s continued presence in the crypto-community will continue to add credibility to the community and foster growth.

 

Also Read: Charlie Lee One Of The Most Popular Crypto Clelebrities

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