Category Archive : Blockchain

Twitter’s Jack Dorsey Wants to Decentralize Social Media

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has long been a proponent of Bitcoin. His startup Cash.App features a crypto buy and sell feature. 

Dorsey recently announced that Twitter would fund a small independent team of up to five open source architects, engineers, and designers to develop an open and decentralized standard for social media. Twitter, then, would be a client of this standard. 

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Top US Financial Regulators Warn Against Perils of Stablecoins

The Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), which was set up in 2008 to combat risks to the financial sector after the financial crisis, believes stablecoins could cause potential problems if they gained wider use.

“If a stablecoin became widely adopted as a means of payment or store of value, disruptions to the stablecoin system could affect the wider economy,” the regulators stated in its financial report for 2019. “Financial regulators should review existing and planned digital asset arrangements and their risks, as appropriate.” Read More

China Forms Alliance to Fast-Track Blockchain Development

China’s state-backed blockchain alliances features big cryptocurrency and financial companies. One of the first name brands to join the ‘Blockchain Services Network Alliance’ (BSN) is Huobi China.

Huobi China, which is a part of global bitcoin and crypto exchange conglomerate Huobi Group, revealed its participation at the Blockchain Service Network Partner Conference.

The company’s Chinese-based operations do not include the trading of cryptocurrency. “It is not an exchange. It is a fully compliant legal entity in China doing blockchain education and blockchain solutions for large corporations, solely focused on blockchain technology, said Ciara Sun, chief of staff of Huobi Group. Read More

An Interview with Steve Bellotti, Chairman of TCM Capital, An Advisor on The Perth Mint Gold Token

As we covered here, The Perth Mint Gold Token could prove to be an alternative to U.S. dollar-based stablecoins, such as Tether. While Tether is backed by dollars in a U.S. bank account, the Perth Mint gold token is backed by gold held by one of the most renowned precious metals refineries in the world.

GoldSilverBitcoin fielded answers about the Perth Mint Gold Token from the Chairman of TCM Capital, Steve Bellotti. TCM Capital AM Pty Ltd is the Advisor to the PMGT project. Read More

Royal Bank of Canada Might Not Be Pursuing a Crypto Exchange, But It Ranks Among Enterprise Blockchain Leaders

It had been reported that The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) –– the country’s largest bank at more than $965 billion in total assets –– might launch a cryptocurrency trading platform. But, those reports turned out to not be true. With that said, according to Forbes, RBC is leading in enterprise blockchain research.

“Like many other organizations, files patent applications to ensure proprietary ideas and concepts are protected,” RBC spokesperson Jean Francois had told The Logic, before CoinDesk published an update clarifying that RBC had no plans to launch an exchange. Read More

Perth Mint Gold Digital Token Could Be an Alternative to Stablecoins

InfiniGold is collaborating with the Perth Mint, the world’s largest refiner of newly minted gold, to release the digital token Perth Mint Gold Token (PMGT), which is backed 1:1 by GoldPass certificates issued by the Perth Mint. It could be an alternative to current stablecoins, especially Tether, which is backed by the US dollar. PMGT gives users ownership of government-guaranteed gold stored at The Perth Mint. The Mint touts benefits like real-time trading and settlement thanks to blockchain. Read More

How the Facebook Libra Announcement Affected Shares of Western Union, MoneyGram, PayPal & Square

Western Union shares declined Tuesday amid the Facebook announcement of its new cryptocurrency, Libra, which is supposed to be integrated with Facebook, and its subsidiary apps Instagram, WhatsApp, and more. Western Union, a legacy consumer-to-consumer money sending platform was among the worst performers on the S&P Index on Tuesday, as it fell 2.4%. It closed at $19.57 a share.

Facebook’s cryptocurrency Libra is supported by a legion of well-known companies from both within the crypto industry and outside of it, including payment companies like Visa, Mastercard and PayPal. Blockchain companies involve Coinbase, Xapo and others. The cryptocurrency is expected to launch in the first half of 2020. Read More

Jim Rogers: “Cryptocurrencies are Going to Disappear and Go to Nothing.” The Reason Why Might Shock You.

Jim Rogers believes governments will interfere with the rise of bitcoin and cryptocurrency, but not blockchain.

“The blockchain has a great future,” the famous investor told BBLOKK OFFICIAL. “Blockchain is changing everything we know, and it’s going to change even more. A lot of people are going to lose their job because of blockchain, but a lot of people lost jobs because of electricity, and electricity turned out to be a good thing for all of us; likewise with blockchain.” Read More

Puerto Rico Finds Hope In Crypto, Cannabis, And Nicolas Cage

Hurricane Maria had a disastrous effect on Puerto Rico, and even though the one-year anniversary of the natural disaster is on September 20th, the island has yet to fully recover.
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Cards Like Wirex’s Put Cryptocurrencies in Your Wallet

Usually, when people think about cryptocurrency, it’s on hard drives, cell phones or third-party exchanges. But, cryptocurrency debit cards have long been an exciting frontier for crypto-enthusiasts.

The large San Francisco-based exchange, Coinbase, has offered a debit card, the Shift Payment Card, which allows users to gain access to their cryptocurrency just like their bank accounts. But, the largest cryptocurrency exchange is hardly alone in offering such a service. Read More

Former Digital Gold Developers Launch Token Sale for Cash, Micro-Lending System

(GoldSilverBitcoin) – Everex, formerly Midas Reserv, is making waves in the crypto-cash industry thanks to its contributions in cash-transfer technologies. Based on the Ethereum blockchain, Everex’s central product, Cryptocash, allows individuals to transfer cash across borders instantly in form of national currency on a blockchain. Applicable to remittance and cash transfers, Cryptocash is a digitized form of cash backed by national currencies thanks to Everex’s partner institutions. Read More

Consensus 2017 Lesson: Luxury Products are Going on the Blockchain

(Gold Silver Bitcoin) – $450 million RMB on a blockchain. That’s what VeChain brings to the table in the world of blockchain. It’s really the most promising blockchain use case out of China – and there are many. Read More

JP Morgan’s Blockchain Researchers Discussed Ethereum’s Shortcomings Before DAO Hack



When two senior blockchain leaders left JP Morgan’s Juno project last month to start the firm Kadena.io, as reported by Quartz, it was on amicable terms.

Related: JPMorgan Publishes Code for Permissioned Blockchain

JPMorgan & Kadena Partnership In The Works?

In fact, former executive director Stuart Popejoy and JP Morgan head engineer Will Martino – who use South Park caricatures on the website in their biographies – are currently exploring a partnership with their former employer, the largest bank in the United States with total assets of $2.35 trillion.

Kadena’s conversations with JP Morgan revolve around both the initial pilot of the Kadena self-titled blockchain and other use-cases, and  a relationship with the bank could be formalized in the next few months with Kadena either as a vendor or partner. Spinning off from JP Morgan was “definitely” a professional decision for Popejoy and Martino.

“Our decision was based on the belief that the true potential of the Juno pilot would be best-served by an independent effort,” Martino told Motherboard, referring to JP Morgan’s blockchain project.

DAO Hack Foreseen By JPMorgan

Martino’s and Popejoy believe  their work serves as an improvement over Ethereum. Martino and Popejoy say Kadena’s technology would avoid blockchain crises such as the June $56 million DAO hack of Ethereum’s token, ether.

Like Ethereum, Kadena’s blockchain technology can handle payment clearing use-cases, but that’s just an “added bonus of private utility-like blockchain technology,” as Martino says. He believes blockchain technology can standardize business logic for inter-organizational relationships. This, he suggests, “could provide for terrific business acceleration.”  At the time of the DAO hack, Kadena was preparing Pact, a safe, declarative smart-contract language.

“While bugs aren’t impossible in Pact, it represents the same sober, disciplined approach found in database engineering and Bitcoin: safety is absolutely paramount in transactional computing,” Martino said.  The Ethereum hack, ultimately, confirmed a longstanding hypothesis of the Kadena founders – one they had since their JP Morgan days.

“That Ethereum’s Solidity, and indeed the EVM bytecode environment itself, is fundamentally unable to provide a safe environment for blockchain transaction execution,” Popejoy expressed.

Martino and Popejoy noticed Ethereum’s shortcomings as blockchain technology researchers in the Emerging Technologies Group at JP Morgan, which is tasked with fostering innovation within the bank. Ethereum’s design presented “a significant barrier to industry adoption of private blockchain in a multi-organizational setting.”

Is the Kadena blockchain a Bitcoin and Ethereum killer app? Popejoy and Martino believe so. Kadena can, after all,  process upwards of 7,000 transactions per second. Bitcoin is currently stuck at seven transactions per second a la the “Bitcoin block size debate.” Kadena also claims their blockchain sacrifices none of the cryptographic robustness expected from a blockchain, proving full durable security. Overall, the Kadena founders foresee a paradigm shift away from public blockchains like Ethereum.

“Private blockchain solves a raft of issues for transaction processing that normally require extensive operational and engineering expertise, including database replication, reliable and performant messaging, service discovery, high-availability, and disaster-recovery,” Popejoy said. “Remarkably, blockchain solves all of these problems in a single stroke, letting IT focus efforts on solving business problems by coding transactional logic into smart-contracts.”


Microsoft Head of Decentralized Identity Says Bitcoin is Under Attack

“To the BU folks threatening a 51% attack: Imagine a decentralized identity client, running an SPV that blocks BU, shipping to 1 billion PCs,” tweeted Daniel B, Microsoft Head of Decentralized Identity, essentially representing a weighing in on the block size debate. 

Related: Bitcoin Mining isn’t totally unheard of on Global US Armed Force Bases

He then continued: “BU degrades security and decentralization – if decentralized identity takes off, implementing UAs will be responsible for protecting users.”

He championed increased distribution. “Decentralization is the most critical attribute of decentralized identity, thus *any* mod that degrades it (BU or otherwise) is unacceptable,” he tweeted.

He does believe that there should be nothing stopping BU from developing. “Devs are free to produce harmful plugins & browsers are free to block them – same goes for chain protocol mods & decentralized identity UAs,” he opined on the popular social media platform which boasts more than 300 million accounts.

He added: You have every right to develop any code you wish, but you have no right to force customers to use it or their User Agents to accept it.

In a blog post entitled, “The Web Beyond: How blockchain identity will transform our world,”

He wrote: “With a global blockchain of identity, we can dramatically transform almost every product or service that relies on interactions between living, non-living, and intangible things.”

Donald Trump & Japanese Blockchain Researcher SoftBank Reach Deal on $50 Billion US Investment & 50,000 Jobs




Donald J Trump tweeted Tuesday that SoftBank of Japan agreed to invest $50 billion in the US towards businesses and 50,000 new jobs. The tweet comes on the even of Pearl Harbor, a scar on the memory of both nations. In announcing the deal, Mr. Trump makes good on a campaign promise to improve international relations. 

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Royal Mint Experimenting with Blockchain-based Gold Trades



The Royal Mint partnered with markets operator CME Group to build a gold market with blockchain technology as a means of broadening London’s hip-factor when buying and selling gold bullion.

The Roya Mint, owned by taxpayers, plans to accept trades from the middle of next year on the Royal Mint Gold platform, intended to log each transaction using blockchain. Read More

Blockchain Website Steemit Plans Hard Fork to Attract Short and Mid Term Speculators

Steemit, which gained popularity in the Bitcoin community after it introduced the first blockchain-based website, announced a December 6 hard fork this morning. The fork, which had been discussed in Steemit forums in recent months, is designed to change the platform’s economic model and to benefit the social platform’s community. This will be done, according to Steemit CEO Ned Scott, by onboarding more short to medium term investors.

Before the change is made, “witnesses”, who help to govern the experimental blockchain system, will have to agree to the change through a voting process. The main change will be to the Steem currency’s inflation rate. Read More

R3 Sends Cease-and-Desist to Bitcoin Developer Peter Todd

Bitcoin and banks were never supposed to go hand-in-hand. So, in 2015, when the world’s largest financial institutions began investigation the technology behind Bitcoin, blockchain, it took many people by surprise. Now, approximately two years after those efforts began in earnest, it seems there’s somewhat of a clash taking place between Bitcoin and the consortium through which the world’s largest banks investigate blockchain technology, R3. Read More

JP Morgan Publishes Code for Permissioned Ethereum

JPMorgan has uploaded the code for its private, Ethereum-inspired blockchain code to popular code repository Github. Quorum, which JPMorgan calls a “permissioned implementation of Ethereum supporting data privacy,” is essentially a blockchain focused for enterprise use. 

JPMorgan promises “high speed and high throughput” processing of private transactions. “Quorum addresses specific challenges to blockchain technology adoption within the financial industry, and beyond.” Read More

How Bitcoin Works

“It seems to me that simple altruism can suffice to keep the > network running properly.”  – Satoshi Nakamoto

This section gets a bit technical.  Few truly understand how bitcoin functions, but by coming into contact, if even briefly, with the degrees of technology that go into powering a p2p network like bitcoin, one can have their mind expanded. To paraphrase Karl Marx, “the masses must live through the revolution in order to understand the revolution.”

“Preliminary research” suggests that bitcoin is an autonomous thing. In other words, the bitcoin open-source community acts as one united soul – an institutional-entrepreneur – in which countless actions of individual agents converge over time to create the bitcoin hologram. The collective and not the individual, nor a single organization, resolve the future of bitcoin. But, this collective is comprised of diverse individuals: of communists, of libertarians, of anarchists, of speculators and of the a-political. What inspired these individuals to create this community? Bitcoin.

Bitcoins are computer files, so they behave similarly to a music or a text file, and can be destroyed or lost like any computer file. Many say bitcoin is digital cash. To be sure, bitcoin is not exactly like physical cash. When you lose cash, someone else can theoretically find it.

If you lose bitcoins, they are not readily available to another person unless you were hacked. Lost bitcoins are not just found in cyberspace by web-surfers.  Also, your brain does not store a trail as to where your cash was last. If a $100 bill falls out of your pocket, you might not have access to any data whatsoever as to what-in-the-world happened. Potentially, when you lose bitcoins, a computer security expert can do research into the issue.  

As Trace Mayer puts it, “Bitcoin is like a gold coin that you can e-mail.” As we’ve covered, the central aspect of bitcoin is that it is an open-source software and community, and open-source communities are strangers, from anywhere in the world with Internet access, coming together and self-organizing around a shared interest so as to create value through sharing knowledge and innovation.

Undoubtedly, the community has not been able to tame the tide of misconceptions about bitcoin. Such as that bitcoin’s are backed by nothing. Therefore, bitcoin is not a virtual gold. But, the value of gold is largely reflected in the amount of energy consumed in mining and refining the metal, which contributes just as much to gold’s value as does its suitability as money.  As one individual once put it, “a gold coin represents a large amount of land, highly refined, with the input of a great deal of energy, labor and capital.”

In a similar manner, bitcoins represent the computing power, energy and capital required to create them. It takes specialized technology running for sometimes many days to create a bitcoin. This was even true many years ago. Like mining for precious metals, it is not easy to mine bitcoins profitably. Bitcoin mining is extremely competitive, as we will detail later, and it’s rarely a profitable venture unless higher future prices in bitcoin are assumed.  A main advantage of bitcoin is its peer-to-peer nature. This means there is no “issuing authority” for bitcoin, no central depository or central bank.

The SEC Has Monitored Blockchain Technology Since Before Ethereum Attack

The Securities and Exchange Commission has been keeping a close eye on blockchain technology.

Such crowd funded blockchains seemingly operated under a so-called “good deal exception,” in which investors, who are satisfied because they are making money, do not complain to authorities.

That didn’t stop the SEC from pondering how securities law might apply. Read More

Public, Private & Confederated Blockchains

There are different types of blockchains. The only true use case for a blockchain, at the current time, is Bitcoin. Nonetheless, many of these other blockchain models, still experiments, could power finance, and some experts believe relatively quickly.





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10 Unauthorized Facts About Ethereum, DAO & The Missing $60 Million

The second largest blockchain crowdsale of all time is Ethereum. Ethereum is a blockchain system based on smart contract technology which seeks to remove humans from the nature of contracts. It is run by a virtual machine, which is a distribution of computing power run in a Bitcoin-type network. Miners in this distributed network are rewarded in ether, a Bitcoin-inspired digital currency that Ethereum proponents refer to as the “fuel” of the network.  This is similar to how Bitcoin miners are rewarded with Bitcoin.

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Loyalty Pay Holdings Purchases MintChip





Loyalty Pays Holdings has purchased all assets related to the once defunct Royal Canadian Mint project, MintChip.

MintChip represents a digital currency developed by the Mint meant to be similar to cash. Royal Canadian Mint began developing the technology after the digital currency Bitcoin had gained global attention. The new owner of the technology, nanoPay, has purchased a technology much different than Bitcoin, however; MintChip offers support compliance of regulatory standards, including anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) laws. MintChip can be denominated in multiple national currencies and value can be transferred without intermediary, both offline and online.

“This transaction, which was conducted through an open, transparent divestiture process, allows MintChip to move to its natural next step of commercialization in the private sector,” said Bob Zintel, Senior Director, Finance at the Royal Canadian Mint. “Canadians can now look forward to the evolution of MintChip as nanoPay explores the full potential of this digital payment technology in the global marketplace.” NanoPay is excited about the new technology they’ve acquired.

“Digital currency is inevitable and our newly-acquired MintChip  platform delivers a digital cash future to consumers, businesses and governments today,” said nanoPay Founder & CEO, Laurence Cooke. “Digital cash will transform payments globally, from the unbanked to the largest financial institutions, and MintChip will help easily transition to the reality of cashless payments.”

MintChip was used by RCM in a six-month internal trial. The technology has been granted five patents, with five additional patents going through the patent process. The platform is fully functional today and will be commercially deployed in the coming weeks.

NanoPay’s next pursuits are expanding partnerships with central banks, commercial banks, telcos, acquirers, and retailers so as to further the use of the technology.

RCM made headlines in 2013 when it introduced its MintChip project. That year, software engineers at the 105-year-old Crown corporation will commence testing its very own digital currency.

At the time, they stated that MintChip “has the potential to revolutionize how we do business.”

“Where we’re going is not a road that has been travelled,” said Marc Brûlé, who heads up RCM’s virtual money project.

“The challenge for most companies trying to do this is they are not a federal mint,” said Catherine Johnston, chief executive of ACT Canada, a payments industry advocate. “What they’re really doing is giving a digital representation of money, and it really requires a federally regulated body to be able to do true digital currency. So I see the Mint as having everything they need to make it a reality.”

MintChip can be held on a smartphone or other electronic device. “We’re at the very beginning of this, you know. But I believe that smartphones are very powerful devices and very popular. You miss your wallet in a couple of hours but you miss your smartphone in minutes,” Mr. Brûlé said when the project was first announced.

Little is know about the security protecting these wallets, but the MintChip project was originally going after micro-transactions and is expected by officials to be adopted by the underbanked. The MintChip is designed to be a digital form of cash and change. The Mint maintains that MintChip maintains “the capability for anonymous, efficient and almost instantaneous transactions.”

Compared to physical cash and change, the Mint argues, the cost of managing MintChip is much lower.

“It will be fun to watch it but i don’t think we will see anything substantive from it.,” Trace Mayer said about MintChip when it was first announced. “Anything MintChip can do, Bitcoin can do, and we can do it securer because we have the processing power to do so.”




Steve Albini Appreciates Bitcoin Technology, Skeptical Of The Blockchain


The producer of Nirvana’s landmark record, In Utero, levied some interesting critiques of blockchain technology in an interview long before the technology had captured the attention of some of the world’s largest corporations in 2015.

In a discussion with the podcast Decentralize.FM, Mr Albini seemed suspicious of blockchain technology. The Shellac guitarist did not understand why, if an open source community like Bitcoin and blockchain were trying to change, if not get rid of, modern institutions, why they would try and mimic the institutions themselves?

“What most of the underground culture has been based on is not finding an alternative version of something in the mainstream culture, like in [the Bitcoin] example, finance, but making those things we find repellent about the mainstream culture irrelevant,” Albini told Tony Sakich of Decentralize.fm. “It’s not let’s have our own lawyers and contracts and our own automated version of bill collecting; let’s not have lawyers, let’s not have contracts, let’s not have bill collecting, and not let’s have our own version of exclusive relationships that we police, but let’s not have exclusive relationships and not have any police.”

He points out that Bitcoin is merely mimicking the ways things have always been: “Bitcoin is creating equivalents to items that exist in the material world but in the digital ether, and my point, and probably the fulcrum of my existence, has been to eliminate those things from my life, not create an alternative version I could cherish as my own invention.”Albini highlights how his personal philosophy differs from this. He leveled some interesting criticisms at smart contracts, and contracts in general, at the time.

“I’ve made contracts irrelevant and unnecessary in my life,” he said. “I don’t use contracts in business, I literally do not use them. I’ve had a successful and extended career based on the idea that I’m only dealing with people I can trust and who can trust me. I’ve never signed a piece of paper; never even had a verbal understanding of the details of our relationship…”

While Bitcoiners champion how blockchain technology means we can do away with trust in the modern world, Albini thinks some trust is a good thing.

“In the terrified straight world people say, ‘Well aren’t you afraid of someone taking advantage of you?’ Like someone books a bunch of studio time and then cancels it…Well that happens very rarely and it happens very rarely because we do a good job at vetting the people that we’re working with. We spend a little bit of energy making sure the people we’re dealing with are trustworthy, and building a personal relationship with them, then we don’t have to spend an extraordinary amount of time structuring agreements, and contracts and collecting on payments that people are reluctant to make.”

One year later, smart contracts have been adopted by Microsoft, IBM, and the world’s major banks. At conferences for blockchain technology, representatives of some of the world’s most influential corporations discuss how the blockchain can be applied to modern systems. They debate whether or not blockchain technology can streamline the criminal justice system, banking systems and even the Internal Revenue Service.

At a Blockchain Conference in 2015, some members spoke openly about their visions for blockchain technology.

Former Mechanics Bank CEO Christa Steele, Boardroom Consulting LLC, Founder & Managing Member, pondered how the Blockchain could be used for criminal justice.

“Why don’t we just overhaul the whole criminal justice system?” she said.

“[My husband is a police officer] and when he pulls someone over right now and they have a felony, there’s no way to figure out what type of felony,” she lamented. “I’d want to know that if I pull someone over. He pulls someone over there’s no way, so they have to check into five or six different systems to access the information. What if we were to tie all that information together? What would the worth in the scheme of things? Because then you [must] incorporate the whole criminal justice system as far as prosecution, going to jail and a whole slew of steps along the way.”

John Wolpert, product lead on IBM’s blockchain efforts, said at the same conference: “Compliance is a big issue we talk about on our team. A lot of people talk about regulation of blockchain. Most of the time they’re really thinking about [the regulation of something in banking we’re building on the blockchain].”

Wolpert continued: “You can instrument Dodd Frank on the blockchain. [And] you could instrument the tax code. I would love to never have to file taxes, any transaction is just ‘hashtag taxes,’ and it just [automates the process], and all the rules get written to the chain.”

Despite his caution, Albini still likes the Bitcoin technology: “I appreciate bitcoin as a technological innovation.”

10 Best Use Cases Of Blockchain

1 Coinbase – The San Francisco Based Coinbase is one of the top Bitcoin companies. It’s created a PayPal like Bitcoin exchange that is incredibly easy-to-use. You mom could figure it out. What’s more, in a partnership with Shift Payments, Coinbase created the Shift Card, which interfaces with your Coinbase account.

Bitwage – BitWage allows employers and employees to handle payroll in Bitcoin, local currency and even some commodities. BitWage released its Bitcoin payroll system in July 2014. CEO Jonathon Chester outlines to Forbes the business:

Argentine freelancers were waiting five days, giving up 40% of their income during that process, and some times their payments were simply lost in an opaque, slow moving system. Their only other alternative to losing 30% of their wage was getting on a boat to Uruguay to pick up their funds. Through us, Argentine freelancers were receiving wage payments from the U.S. or western Europe to Argentina in a day, at a cost of 1% of the amount, from the comfort of their home. After receiving their wages, the freelancers would figure out how to get their local currency on their own

In August 2015, BitWage processed more than $1 million in payroll transactions.

Purse – Purso.io markets its service to people looking to shop on Amazon. People can save as much as 25% on Amazon. Users looking for something on Amazon deposit Bitcoin onto Purse then share their Amazon wish list. Individuals looking to buy bitcoins then shop for you on Amazon. As soon as you receive the Amazon products, the bitcoins are released from escrow and the individual who purchased your goods receives his or her bitcoins.

Bitcoin ATMs – The Bitcoin ATM industry – led by players like Genesis, General Bytes and Lamassu – has quietly grown into one of the stalwarts of the digital currency space. Hundreds of locations throughout the world offer you the possibility to buy and sell bitcoins at a physical location. These machines can be found in liquor stores, high end retail locations and in the most popular centers in the US and Europe. With the vast majority of these machines in the US and Europe, they’re not quite the remittance-mediums people once hoped for, but the unbanked are being served by this market based on TDV research.

Local Bitcoins – LocalBitcoins bring buyers and sellers of bitcoin together. Looking to make some part-time money? Perhaps trading bitcoins on LocalBitcoins – within the purview of the law – could help pay the rent. The best use for LocalBitcoins is meeting up for a bitcoin/cash deal at a local coffee shop.

Ethereum – Ethereum has received a lot of press for its smart contract platform. Ethereum has become a key component of blockchain experimentation led by R3 CEV and the Linux Foundation/IBM. Many businesses, experts believe, could be built on top of the Ethereum model. The firm raised approximately $18 million in crowdsale giving it a distinct advantage over other “Bitcoin 2.0” projects.

Satoshi Dice – This popular betting game represents one of the first “blockchain-based betting” games. It’s been operating since 2012, offering off chain based bets since 2014. The service itself determines if wagers win or lose. The first operator of Satoshi Dice, Eric Vorhees, went on to found the popular ShapeShift.io.

ShapeShift – ShapeShift is one of the newest pieces of the digital currency ecosystem. It markets itself as the “Google Translate” of digital currencies. As the website boasts, “from start to finish you can change currencies in under ten seconds, no account required.” The website describes the process of transferring digital currency:

Select Bitcoin as the input and Litecoin as the output
Provide your Litecoin address in the box, then click the Start button
ShapeShift will generate a BTC deposit address for you. Please send your BTCs to this generated address. (Don’t send more than the Deposit Limit).
There are no emails nor passwords needed to use the site. That means no accounts. ShapeShift wants to become “the fastest, most private, and most convenient way to swap digital currencies, and the exchange rate will always remain competitive.”

ChangeTip – The San Francisco-based ChangeTip specializes in online micropayments which function as tips, most often for quality content. In 2015, the average micropayment was just over $1. The firm received financing after going viral. 10,000 tips in one day were executed. November 2014 saw a new community called “Millionaire Makers” whereby each ChangeTip user would donate $1 each.

Gyft – Gyft found an exciting and untouched niche in the Bitcoin space by offering popular gift cards for the digital currency. Gyft’s business turned into a Bitcoin-forward business seemingly overnight with the addition of Bitcoin payments. Over the course of the past two years, Gyft has experimented further with blockchain technology, and is close to implementing a decentralzed gift card exchange.

OpenBazaar – OpenBazaar has been a much anticipated addition to the blockchain space. The distributed e-commerce solution strives to replace websites like Amazon and eBay. What differentiates OB from eBay/Etsy and others is the concept of a moderator, which is a third party that oversees the transaction process. Moderators do not sell goods nor services. They also are not buying goods nor services. But, rather, they are providing value to the users of the network.

While eBay charges 10% for such services, OB’s moderators are option, and they choose their own rate. Many are currently offering for such services for just one percent.

1Broker – 1Broker enables its users to trade gold, silver, the DAX, Down Jones 30 Industrial (Dow 30), S&P 500 indices, Apple (AAPL), Facebook (FB), Google (GOOG), and Microsoft Corp (MSFT). Through a vehicle known as the Contract For Differences or CFD. CFDs are contracts between two parties in which the seller pays to the buyer the difference between the current value of an asset and its value at contract time.

1Broker’s CFD’s essentially function as derivatives for well-known financial markets. As the website founder once told me, “Our primary goal was to make trading as simple and transparent as possible.

The CFD instruments on 1Broker basically conncet Bitcoin with other global markets, enabling individuals to invest or speculate on 1Broker’s markets.


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