Month: October 2017

Blockchain Startup Human Discovery Platform Announces Revolutionary Changes to Digital Self-Improvement Market in New Whitepaper

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Bitcoin Press Release: The Human Discovery Platform has proudly announced the release of its new whitepaper. HPD’s system will address issues within the self-improvement industry, offer transparency through digitalization of methods of human analysis from various sciences, blockchain-based architecture, and native HD-tokens.

31 October, Moscow, Russia – Moscow-based blockchain startup Human Discovery Platform, is a  decentralized system that studies and approves ‘methodics’ (a method known as personal data interpretation tests) for personality analysis for digital products. The company’s recent whitepaper outlines how it aims to address numerous issues for tech entrepreneurs, authors of methodics, and their backers. Human Discovery Platform developers are working on the system, which will launch to the public in June 2018.

The typical players of self-improvement industry like coaches or consultants have been around for ages, but the new trend in the industry is a shift towards digital services and mobile applications.

Integration of methods of personality analysis into the services is a major challenge, as it allows services to provide users with highly personalized recommendations based on the detailed personal information.

There is currently a huge gulf between the authors of methodics – psychologists, consultants, scientists – and entrepreneurs, who develop services. Entrepreneurs attempting to purchase a methodic for a service application are required to undergo a series of legal stages, pay taxes and various other commission charges. Individuals wishing to sponsor an author are also required to meet the required legislative requirements, especially if they are citizens of different states. Authors of methodics have also undergone a fairly high degree of scrutiny in the media, with the science behind the methodics of the self-development industry frequently coming into question.  

If authors were given the ability to create their methodics in an open, transparent and accessible way, they could provide a broader array of offerings, ranging from decentralized dating apps to HR-services. Human Discovery Platform’s whitepaper explains how the company will solve the problems of approbation, through the monetization of methodics for personality analysis, data storage and provide regulation for interaction between entrepreneurs, authors of methodics and their backers.

The Human Discovery Platform will enable all authors to install their own methodic into the system by creating a block, which is located on nodes and execute a code of analysis.

The Human Discovery Platform will create complex methodics by combining blocks of various authors. For example, if the author wants to translate his methodics, he can put the translation block in front of his block. Blocks are similar to smart contracts, loaded by authors into a blockchain-network, and executed on decentralized nodes. The decentralized design of the platform ensures that the author’s data used for the methodic will be stored safely and not vulnerable to any one point of failure.

Implementing Blockchain technology in this field also alleviates any issue of mistrust, as each time the block executes request from the client, the blockchain-network records all incoming and outgoing data. This decentralized record doesn’t cover user’s personal data, so the results of the analysis are transparent, impersonal and available for verification. This way Human Discovery Platform will accumulate knowledge about human personality and behavior without being tied to a service that can go bankrupt or temporarily close down.

HD Tokens

The Human Discovery Platform ecosystem will run on its native HD-token, built on the Ethereum blockchain. HD-tokens will be issued in exchange for Ethereum and various other cryptocurrencies.

To conduct a request for an analysis of input data, the client will spend HD-tokens, which are later distributed between the authors of the blocks used by the client and the nodes on which the analysis code is executed.

A client can be an entrepreneur, with the ability to create a site or social network on the basis of the methodic. One advantage for entrepreneurs is that the platform will provide them with ready-to-use API of methodics, making it easier to launch the product based on it. The author of the methodic will also be able to create a contract for the backer who wants to sponsor the author, according to which part of the received HD-tokens from the block will be transferred to the backer. The platform is also expected to attract freelancers, who will serve needs of its participants and get HD-tokens in return.

Meet The Team
Timur Karimbaev (CEO),
Marat Nigametzyanov (Business Development Director)
Sergey Mikhailov (COO)

Timur, Marat and Sergey are known in Russia as co-founders of GetCourse, one of the largest services for the sale and delivery of online courses. The company’s revenue was $6 million in 2016. More than 1000 trainers and 9 million people are using GetCourse. The product level of GetCourse became a starting point of the Human Discovery Platform architecture.

Learn more about Human Discovery Platform here –
Read the Human Discovery Platform whitepaper here –
Find Human Discovery Platform on Facebook –
Follow Human Discovery Platform on twitter –
Check out Human Discovery Platform Medium Blog –
Join Human Discovery Platform Official Telegram Group –

Media Contact
Contact Name: Julia Zhidkova
Location: Moscow, Russia

Human Discovery Platform is the source of this content. Virtual currency is not legal tender, is not backed by the government, and accounts and value balances are not subject to consumer protections. This press release is for informational purposes only. The information does not constitute investment advice or an offer to invest

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Blockchain Start-Up EtherSport to Develop Ground-Breaking Sports Betting Platform, Announces ICO Commencing November 13th

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Bitcoin Press Release: 1st November, 2017, London, United Kingdom — EtherSport, a decentralised sports betting platform, has announced its ICO campaign to launch on November, 13th. The company is raising funds through the ESC token sale, in order to create an innovative and transparent betting platform on sports events by implementing Ethereum smart contracts.

EtherSport’s lottery, contrary to many similar services, is not based on guessing random numbers, but involves the exact determination of sports events results, which cannot be influenced by anyone. This means that players can leverage their analytical skills, to generate immense profits. By using this particular lottery type, players can not only guess the game results by using their knowledge, but also get an additional kick, by viewing the  events themselves, and supporting their favourite teams.

EtherSport will provide two main vehicles for participation; “Lottery 11”, an innovative online sports lottery platform, and an analogue of a P2P betting exchange with one-on-one and one-against-all bets. This will provide a good amount of product diversification, opening up revenue streams and accessing differing market segments. The lottery mechanism is handled via the Ethereum Smart Contract process, which affords participants completely fair and transparent results, which avoids unnecessary risks and scams. The use of smart-contracts also guarantees transparent and immediate payment, eliminating hidden fees. Security and anonymity are also guaranteed via the use of the Blockchain, making EtherSport one of the most fair and secure platforms in the future.

“We decided to make a perfect match between traditional online sports betting and cutting-edge technologies, namely, blockchain and smart contracts, to guarantee the fairness and full transparency of the process,“ says Alex Tsymbal, CEO and Co-Founder of EtherSport. “The platform provides equality for each participant in the system, and smart contracts guarantee the fulfillment of all conditions and payouts.”

The platform also guarantees unlimited winnings, with no limitations on betting amounts. Fast withdrawals, streamlined and easy registration with minimal personal information, and data about users will avoid third-parties. EtherSport also guarantees ease-of-play, with its’ simple lottery system. EtherSport will launch its’ Lottery 11 for testing early into Q1 of 2018. This will allow for preliminary, unsimulated testing. Shortly after this, Lottery 11 will be released fully, allowing users to wager ESC tokens on events. By Q2 2018, P2P betting will be enabled, whereby players can bet against each-other.

EtherSport ICO

To raise funds for the ongoing development of the platform and project, EtherSport will issue its’ native ERC20 Ethereum-based token – EtherSportCoin (ESC). ESC tokens can be used within the platform to buy the lottery tickets, as a way to earn (15% of the money raised from each lottery), or as a speculative commodity to trade on major exchanges. 100,000,000 ESC tokens will be created, with 70% of these being distributed within the pre-ICO period (November 13th to November 19th) and the main ICO (November, 20th, to December, 20th).

The EtherSport team has years of experience in the lottery and bookmaker industries. The project’s developers were one of the pioneers in terms of working with the blockchain and smart contracts.

More detailed description of the EtherSport project, clear roadmap, profit distribution, and ICO stages are presented in the white paper, which is publicly available on the website. Additional links with information about the project can be found below:

Visit the Ethersport Website here to learn more:
Read the Whitepaper in English here:
Read the Whitepaper in Russian here:
Read the FAQ here:
Reach EtherSport on Twitter here:
Like EtherSport on Facebook here:
Find EtherSport on Medium here:
Catch up on the Telegram here:

Media Contact
Contact Name:
Contact e-Mail:
Location: London, United Kingdom

EtherSport is the source of this content. Virtual currency is not legal tender, is not backed by the government, and accounts and value balances are not subject to consumer protections. This press release is for informational purposes only. The information does not constitute investment advice or an offer to invest

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The post Blockchain Start-Up EtherSport to Develop Ground-Breaking Sports Betting Platform, Announces ICO Commencing November 13th appeared first on Bitcoin PR Buzz.

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Are Bitcoins the Future of Online Gambling?

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It certainly seems like the Bitcoin is having a moment.

After all, in the eight years since Satoshi Nakamoto unleashed them on the world they are now at their highest value ever and back in March they became even more valuable than gold.

It certainly seems like the Bitcoin is having a moment. After all, in the eight years since Satoshi Nakamoto unleashed them on the world they are now at their highest value ever and back in March they became even more valuable than gold.

As the chart shows, however, it’s also a far more volatile investment than the more traditional gold but this is obviously no hindrance to those who are anticipating great appreciation in the value of the cryptocurrency.

The Ups and Downs of Bitcoin

But that’s not to say that the Bitcoin’s short history hasn’t been punctuated by moments of controversy too, and not just concerning its volatility. For example, many believe it’s the currency most favoured for underworld dealings and there was also the controversial collapse of the Mt Gox exchange reportedly leading to the loss of 850,000 Bitcoins and whose former head is currently facing embezzlement charges.

Despite these possible blemishes on Bitcoin’s character it is still regarded by many as the currency of the future and even many governments and their treasuries are edging ever nearer to regarding it as a legitimate currency.

The Perfect Fit for Casinos?

This has been of great interest to some of the world’s leading online casinos which is especially fitting as, when news agency Reuters, along with a computer coding consultant, examined some of the original programming data it was found that it included some functions related to online poker. There are several other reasons why online casinos are even now starting to welcome payments by Bitcoin, some of which benefit them directly and others which are more player-focused.

For the casinos the fact that there are either no or minimal transaction fees associated with Bitcoins makes them immediately attractive as does the speed with which deposits and withdrawals can be carried out. The secure blockchain technology also adds an extra level of security and protection against being the unwitting victims of fraud.

While the speed of transactions also has an obvious appeal for players another facet of Bitcoin use is an even bigger incentive – namely anonymity. Generally casinos that accept the cryptocurrency only need an email address for the player and details of their Bitcoin wallet to allow them to play with no need for bank or address information to be registered. As online gambling is something that many players would prefer to be discreet about this is obviously a very appealing feature.

Designed for Digital

The very fact that Bitcoins are a digital currency also makes them a perfect fit for online gaming sites and comes with the added benefit that players can be 100% sure that all the games are provably fair with the same odds of winning as they’d enjoy in a traditional bricks and mortar casino.

So with the rest of the world starting to take Bitcoins seriously – from the computer makers Dell who now accept the currency as payment even to some coffee shops who welcome payment over the counter – it really does look like the time is right for more and more casinos to get in on the act.


The increasing popularity of Bitcoins means that they are being increasingly seen as a legitimate currency. Online casinos are starting to accept them more and more as they offer many benefits in terms of convenience and security. They are also popular with players due to the speed of transactions and the anonymity that they provide. Therefore they are expected to become even more widely adopted in the future.

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Popular Investor Bill Miller Allocates 30% of Hedge Fund Portfolio in Bitcoins

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With an unprecedented run over the past year, investments in Bitcoins have skyrocketed over the period of time with the price of Bitcoin surging to new highs in past few months. While, a few top and renowned bankers from the Wall Street have openly criticised Bitcoins recently, there are legendary investors like Bill Miller who have minted millions of dollars by their investments in Bitcoin.

In his recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, prominent investor and chairman of Miller Value Partners LLC – Bill Miller – that 30% of the assets of his $154 million USD MVP 1 hedge fund have been invested in Bitcoin. Miller says that Bitcoins have contributed quite significantly to multiply his fund value and give a handsome return. In 2016, Bitcoin investments contributed to only 5% of the MVP 1 hedge fund assets. Miller says that supported by the unprecedented Bitcoin rally in 2017, his hedge fund has managed to gain a whopping 72.5% in value.

In his latest letter to investors, Bill Miller that the average bitcoin price for the fund was $350 per coin. This means that major part of Miller’s investment in Bitcoins was done last year in 2016 before the rally had just resumed. However, he has made it clear that fund will not buy Bitcoins at the existing prices but said that he would be willing to “put 1% of my liquid net worth in it here” if he already didn’t own Bitcoins in his personal account.

When asked about the future of Bitcoin, Miller was modest enough to say that he really had no idea of the long-term fate about this cryptocurrency: “My view on bitcoin is that it is a technological experiment that may or may not prove to have any long lasting value. Bitcoin has a market capitalization greater than 90% of the companies in the S&P 500, but it still might fail.”

He continued: “I don’t know and neither does anyone else, no matter how certain they are of their opinion. I believe there is still a nontrivial chance bitcoin goes to zero, but each day it does not, that chance declines as more venture capital flows into the bitcoin ecosystem and more people become familiar with bitcoin and buy it.”

Earlier this year, Forbes has reported that Miller had put 1% of his wealth in Bitcoins back in 2014. As an investor, Miller has proved his worth through his returns and has been a coveted investor known for beating the S&P 500 for 15 consecutive years. Miller is a well-known household name in mutual fund investing after his 35-years of glorious years at Leg Mason.

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Bitcoin Surges To New Record High As CME Launches Bitcoin Futures In Q4

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As the mainstream continues to embrace cryptocurrencies – much to the chagrin of Jamie Dimon et al. in the establishment – CME Group is “responding to client interest” and launching a Bitcoin Futures contract in Q4.

CME Group says new contract will be cash-settled, based on the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate (BRR) which serves as a once-a-day reference rate of the U.S. dollar price of bitcoin.

This news has sent Bitcoin back up to record highs…

Full CME Statement:

CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced it intends to launch bitcoin futures in the fourth quarter of 2017, pending all relevant regulatory review periods.

The new contract will be cash-settled, based on the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate (BRR) which serves as a once-a-day reference rate of the U.S. dollar price of bitcoin. Bitcoin futures will be listed on and subject to the rules of CME.

“Given increasing client interest in the evolving cryptocurrency markets, we have decided to introduce a bitcoin futures contract,” said Terry Duffy, CME Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

“As the world’s largest regulated FX marketplace, CME Group is the natural home for this new vehicle that will provide investors with transparency, price discovery and risk transfer capabilities.”

Since November 2016, CME Group and Crypto Facilities Ltd. have calculated and published the BRR, which aggregates the trade flow of major bitcoin spot exchanges during a calculation window into the U.S. Dollar price of one bitcoin as of 4:00 p.m. London time. The BRR is designed around the IOSCO Principles for Financial Benchmarks. Bitstamp, GDAX, itBit and Kraken are the constituent exchanges that currently contribute the pricing data for calculating the BRR.

“We are excited to work with CME Group on this product and see the BRR used as the settlement mechanism of this important product,” said Dr.Timo Schlaefer, CEO of Crypto Facilities.

“The BRR has proven to reliably and transparently reflect global bitcoin-dollar trading and has become the price reference of choice for financial institutions, trading firms and data providers worldwide.”

CME Group and Crypto Facilities Ltd. also publish the CME CF Bitcoin Real Time Index (BRTI) to provide price transparency to the spot bitcoin market. The BRTI combines global demand to buy and sell bitcoin into a consolidated order book and reflects the fair, instantaneous U.S. dollar price of bitcoin in a spot price. The BRTI is published in real time and is suitable for marking portfolios, executing intra-day bitcoin transactions and risk management.

Cryptocurrency market capitalization has grown in recent years to $172 billion, with bitcoin representing more than 54 percent of that total, or $94 billion. The bitcoin spot market has also grown to trade roughly $1.5 billion in notional value each day.

* * *
As CoinTelegraph noted previously, mainstream exchange embrace of Bitcoin could lead to less volatility and further acceptance and new opportunities.

In what can be seen as a mainstream financial world’s embrace of Bitcoin, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME Group) and Intercontinental Exchange Inc. (ICE) are all set to publish data on prices of Bitcoin. CME Group is likely to start publishing this data in the fourth quarter of 2016 while ICE, the owner of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is considering if it should include data from various exchanges for a daily settlement price which it has been publishing since May of 2015.

Recently Dwijen Gandhi of ICE told Reuters that NYSE will soon launch a real-time pricing index which he said would provide additional transparency and insight into the Bitcoin price.

CME Group plans two new Bitcoin products

CME Group and ICE taking the Bitcoin dive is good news for the newly established ‘Digital Asset Class’. The participation of exchanges would allow investors and traders alike to easily acquire the information that they need to trade Bitcoin with more confidence.

According to a press release dated May 2, 2016, the CME group has said that they will collaborate with Crypto Facilities Ltd, a digital assets trading platform, and that they will be developing two new products which they plan to launch by Q4, 2016.

CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate (BRR), which will provide a final settlement price in US dollars at 4 PM London Time on each trading day and the CME Bitcoin Real Time Index (RTI), which allows for real time access to Bitcoin prices.

Cointelegraph talked with Sandra Ro, Executive Director at CME Group about how these developments would affect Bitcoin prices and she says:

“There is no current bitcoin reference rate which is considered “standard” market convention. There are many real time indices but we believe our methodology, inclusion of only the most serious bitcoin exchange data, and focus on developing digital assets will add significant credibility to the nascent digital asset market.”

It is notable that RTI will be calculated by Crypto Facilities and will be calculated based on global demand to buy and sell Bitcoin aggregated into a consolidated order book.

The Price of Bitcoin will be in US dollar terms and will be published once every second according to data made available by CME on the website.

NYSE Bitcoin index NYXBT

On the other hand, the New York Stock Exchange has already wet its feet in the Bitcoin pool by launching the NYSE Bitcoin Index (NYXBT). NYXBT is the first ever exchange-calculated and disseminated Bitcoin index according to ICE.

NYXBT uses a ‘unique methodology’ according to the ICE press release which relies on “rules-based logic to analyse a dataset of matched transactions and verify the integrity of the data to ultimately produce an objective and fair value for one Bitcoin in US Dollars at 4 pm London Time.”

NYXBT will at first take data from transactions from the Coinbase exchange. It is pertinent to mention here that NYSE had made a minority investment in Coinbase in 2015.

Thomas Farley, NYSE Group President, says:

“As a global index leader and administrator of ICE LIBOR, ICE Futures U.S. Dollar Index and many other notable benchmarks, we are pleased to bring transparency to this market. By combining our technology infrastructure with our expertise in index calculation and data management, we will continue to launch complementary products based on our rigorous standards and proprietary index methodology.”

Expect more mainstream participation and new products

It seems that the mainstream financial world is finally ready for Bitcoin. This could mean a new era in which Bitcoin could actually become THE digital asset class and could also lead to further delivery of new financial products for traders and investors.

Cointelegraph talked with Fran Strajnar, Founder and chief executive officer of BraveNewCoin (BNC), an institutional Digital Asset Data provider. Strajnar is excited about these new developments.

Strajnar says to CoinTelegraph:

“What Bitcoin and the entire Digital Asset Class needs to hit mainstream is not just consumer and application adoption but financial infrastructure and the adoption of quality market data services, by well established trading platforms.”

As for opportunities for traders in the form of new products, he thinks that because Bitcoin is global, functions like nothing else and requires a global spot price.

Strajnar expects to see two things evolve from CME’s Bitcoin reference rollout in Q4:

  1. Creation of various Derivative products & further ETF potential, which will help with reducing volatility.
  2. A disparity between US Dollar denominated Bitcoin trading activity and other BTC trading pairs, seeing as the CME index only includes BTC/USD trading. A good arbitrage opportunity will come out of this.

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Monero-Only Darknet Marketplace Libertas Introduces Auto Withdraw Option

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TheMerkle Libertas Monero Auto Withdraw

Not too long ago, we discussed the Libertas darknet marketplace. This particular platform is of great significance, mainly because it doesn’t accept Bitcoin but rather focuses entirely on Monero. Several new updates have been made to the platform over the past week, all of which are well worth paying attention to. It is evident the world of darknet marketplaces will continue to evolve over the next few years.

Libertas Updates are Pretty Interesting

While darknet marketplaces have often been associated with illegal activity, they still represent a business model which requires constant adjustment. In the case of the Libertas marketplace, all of its updates are pretty significant, mainly because it is the only DNM to date focusing solely on Monero. That in itself has put it on the radar of a lot of people, even though there is still plenty of functionality to be added in the months to come.

So far this week, we have seen the Libertas team announce a few new features to their platform. The biggest change is that users of this darknet marketplace can now access an automatic withdrawal option. This feature is visible in the Balance area of one’s dashboard. Having such a feature is quite interesting, as no other darknet marketplace provides one as of right now. It is unclear if that will change, but for now, it makes Libertas a rather unique marketplace, to say the least.

In contrast to most darknet marketplaces, Libertas seemingly doesn’t like to hold onto user funds for too long. An auto withdraw option means users should be able to withdraw their balances on the spot without any delay whatsoever. It is a bit unclear if this means Libertas keeps some user funds in a hot wallet to process these withdrawals or if they effectively eliminate their role as a middleman altogether. Either way, it is a worthwhile addition to this darknet marketplace.

Moreover, it seems users have been providing some valuable pointers on how to fund one’s account with Monero these days. The use of ShapeShift and Changelly seems rather straightforward, as both services are rather popular among cryptocurrency users these days. However, one user has commented that Walletmonero seems to work well also. Although we advise users to conduct their own research before trusting this service, it is worth mentioning in this regard.

Truth be told, the first Monero-only darknet marketplace has plenty of potential. While a lot of features still have yet to be developed, the automatic withdrawal option is pretty significant in its own right. It is unclear what the Libertas developers have in the pipeline as we speak, but the recent updates elevate the platform to a whole new level. Moreover, it seems the time is now for Libertas to become one of the new top darknet marketplaces. Whether or not that can happen without Bitcoin integration remains to be determined, however.

It is rather refreshing to see the Libertas developers publicly comment on the development of their new DNM and keep users informed on their progress. A lot of things are changing in the world of darknet markets, as anonymity has become more important than ever. Whether or not Monero is the right solution in that regard has yet to be determined. However, things are looking pretty solid for Libertas so far.

About The Author

JP Buntinx is a FinTech and Bitcoin enthusiast living in Belgium. His passion for finance and technology made him one of the world’s leading freelance Bitcoin writers, and he aims to achieve the same level of respect in the FinTech sector.

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Worldcore – Your Perfect Bank Wire Gateway into the World of Cryptocurrency

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worldcore ico

Nowadays, when bitcoin marching victoriously through the world, lots are puzzled in search for their bitcoin-based payment solutions provider. Indeed you can set up a CC account, but it will take some knowledge and skills. You will have to locally synchronize a blockchain base, utilize and keep your keys properly…a hundred more. You can’t even imagine a number of details to be taken in consideration to make everything run properly. The cryptocurrency is currently pretty much accessible for computer geeks and IT guys, but it is still rather complicated for real use among common people, who don’t command certain knowledge and terminology.

On the other hand, the popularity and growing demand for cryptocurrency gradually produces alternative solutions and approaches. Imagine for a minute, that your crypto-wallet is integrated in a regular bank account. And that working with bitcoin is organized as simply, as if you’d use a regular your regular plastic card or wire your money via an old familiar web interface of your bank account.

Indeed, you’re not mistaken. Progressive banks of this kind where crypto-processing is promptly integrated into client’s account already exist. Here a whole choice of prevalent cryptocurrencies, Mastercard handling and general electronic and P2P-currencies payment capabilities are gathered in a single bank account. As an addition, there is an offer of some extremely advantageous card service conditions.

Worldcore is a young payment service is one of such advanced financial establishment, which bet on trendy blockchain and IT based digital solutions. A single ultimate “hybrid” account, that solves any problem – a formula chosen by this rapidly growing European Fintech company. All cryptocurrency attributes, such as its simultaneous buying and selling, safekeeping and withdrawal – all that will be available in your bank account right off the box.

Add such all-around accessible abilities of an online remote account set up, ordering the Mastercard by mail to the mix – the choice seems to be perfectly clear.

Little to none of paperwork and complications – whole world of comfort and exclusive opportunities for clients worldwide!

Worldcore is a Czech payment service, fully licensed regulated and legitimized in the Europe Union, which have recently held its successful ICO aiming to scale their business to Europewide level. All of Worldcore’s banking services are certified according to PCI DSS standard, which guaranties the security of your finances’ custody on the accounts of this establishment. Recent title of National Winner in “Best Fintech Startup” nomination of Central Europe Startup Awards 2017, along with Czech Red Cross sponsorship show not only this Fintech company’s innovativeness of, but also its care for people.

Order a card. It is easy to do remotely online. Touch the world of new technology and cryptocurrencies, take a look at biometric identification methods, already integrated in this young advanced Czech bank. Usage of the CC, its withdrawal to your bank account and wiring other payments in whole variety of electronic currencies was never that easy as it was implemented by Worldcore ( today.

This is a sponsored press release and does not necessarily reflect the opinions or views held by any employees of The Merkle. This is not investment, trading, or gambling advice. Always conduct your own independent research.

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Can Hashgraph Dethrone Blockchain as the Future Backbone of Consensus Algorithms?

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TheMerkle Hashgraph Consensus Model

Over the past few weeks, there has been a lot of talk about a new technology known as Hashgraph. So far, a lot of people have no idea what this is, let alone why it should matter in the first place. According to the Swirlds team, Hashgraph is a new consensus algorithm based on distributed ledger technology. It certainly lacks some of the features one would associate with a proper blockchain, but that doesn’t mean this technology is useless by any means.

Hashgraph Achieves Consensus with Proof of Work

Over the past few years, we have seen multiple attempts to achieve consensus using a blockchain or distributed ledger. In the world of cryptocurrency, the most obvious solution is proof of work, even though proof of stake is also useful in a way. However, there are those entities which don’t want to rely on either of these models and attempt to come up with their own solutions. Hashgraph is one such creation which seems appealing on paper, although its actual viability remains to be determined.

According to the Swirlds team, Hashgraph is the “future of the internet and decentralized technology.” That’s a very bold statement made up of a lot of fancy words, but backing up such claims is something else entirely. This new distributed ledger technology is cost-effective, as it doesn’t require proof of work like Bitcoin does. It also seems a lot quicker, with a transaction throughput of 50,000 times that of most blockchains.

The team also promises there are no stale blocks and that there will be some mathematical improvements under the hood. Despite these bold claims, most everyday consumers will not show much interest until these words give way to a working product. No one can deny that blockchains are all the rage right now. Coming up with a vastly superior solution will not be easy by any means, regardless of the bold claims being made. Only time will tell if Hashgraph stands out from the pack.

Achieving the aforementioned transaction throughput is done through the use of pre-sharding. Ethereum developers have also been looking at the concept of sharding these days, which should speed up the throughput by quite a margin. The mathematically proven fairness of Hashgraph means that no individual can manipulate the order of transactions. That in itself is rather interesting, as miners prioritize transactions based on network fees in the cryptocurrency world.

That being said, the consensus model still leaves a lot of questions on the table. While it seems that Asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerance will preclude individuals conducting nefarious activity from preventing consensus altogether, the underlying technology to achieve said consensus in Hashgraph remains shrouded in mystery. We do know it utilizes virtual voting, which doesn’t require actual votes. Instead, it seems Hashgraph uses Gossip to determine how nodes would vote. In this system, every node will know what other nodes know and when they knew it.

This is an interesting approach, although it remains to be determined how the rest of the world will respond to this new algorithm. It sounds interesting on paper, but until it is put through the wringer in the real world, no one can truly gauge its potential. This new technology is well worth keeping an eye on, though, as it may introduce some interesting changes to the world of consensus.

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Trump to Appoint Bitcoin-Skeptic Powell as Fed Chair

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Trump to Appoint Bitcoin-Skeptic Powell as Fed Chair

The New York Times is reporting President Trump will appoint “Jerome H. Powell as the next chairman of the Federal Reserve (Fed).” Bitcoiners all over the world will be impacted.

Also read: Federal Reserve Chair Photo Bomber Generates Over $15k

Trump to Appoint Bitcoin-Skeptic Powell as Fed Chair
Governor Powell

Potential Trump Nominee Powell is Cautious about Bitcoin

President Trump is widely expected to nominate Federal Reserve Board of Governors member, Jerome H. Powell, for Senate confirmation as the next chair of the Federal Reserve. The potential Fed chair has previously stated what he sees as a tension with bitcoin as the Fed “could face difficult trade-offs between strengthening security and enabling illegal activity.”

Mr. Powell has held a Fed governor’s seat since 2012, and is currently at the relative beginning of a term that would have kept him installed until 2028.

Governor Powell appears familiar with bitcoin as a currency and Bitcoin as a network.

Trump to Appoint Powell as Fed Chair, Previously Warned Bitcoin Makes
Current Fed chair is bitcoin photo-bombed while testifying.

This spring, he gave a talk titled Innovation, Technology, and the Payments System for the Yale Law School Center for the Study of Corporate Law, during nearly half of which he spent discussing “distributed ledger technologies” (DLT) and “digital currencies.”

“Bitcoin helped bring [DLT] to public attention,” the governor began. “Using blockchain technology – which employs a form of DLT – and an open architecture, Bitcoin allows for the transfer of value (bitcoins) between participants connected to its ecosystem without reliance on banks or other trusted intermediaries,” he outlined.

Is the Fed and its Banking System Obsolete?

Mr. Powell continued, “This feature has led some to predict that DLT will, in the long run, render parts of the banking and payments system obsolete, as the intermediation of funds through the banking system will become unnecessary.”

After detailing a few of last year’s institutional experiments with bitcoin, his remarks then turned to lessons taught by the world’s most popular cryptocurrency.

“First, in contrast to Bitcoin’s open architecture, work by the financial industry has focused on the development of ‘permissioned’ systems, which establish criteria to determine who is permitted access to particular systems, ledgers, functions, or information,” he noticed.

“Some argue that in certain markets, faster and more predictable processing will also reduce the capital and liquidity costs of operations,” the governor said. However, “technical issues remain,” such as “reliability, scalability, and security remain very important. Beyond these issues, standardization and interoperability across different versions of DLT will need to be addressed to allow technology integration and avoid market fragmentation,” Mr. Powell explained.

Trump to Appoint Powell as Fed Chair, Previously Warned Bitcoin Makes 'It Easier to Hide Illegal Activity'
Trump to Appoint Powell as Fed Chair, Previously Warned Bitcoin Makes ‘It Easier to Hide Illegal Activity’

Appealing to his law school audience, he stressed the “need [for] a thorough analysis of how DLT fits into current legal frameworks and what gaps need to be filled by contractual agreements or new laws and regulations [emphasis added].

Lastly, Governor Powell discussed a possible future state-backed digital currency.

“Advanced cryptography could reduce vulnerability to cyber attacks,” he insisted, “but make it easier to hide illegal activity. To the extent we relax strong cryptography to make it easier for authorities to monitor illegal activity, we could simultaneously weaken security.”

The governor wasn’t all negative, concluding that we “live in a time of extraordinary technological change. We should be open to the new ideas and innovations that will drive economic growth and improvements in our financial system,” he said.

What are your thoughts about Trump’s pick for the Fed? Tell us in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Pixabay, The Bipartisan Policy Center, Cspan.

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Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork Plans Updated – New Difficulty Adjustment Algorithm Chosen

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Bitcoin Cash Article

The Bitcoin ABC development team has announced its plans for the November 13 Hard Fork upgrade of Bitcoin Cash. The upgrade is designed to stabilize the problematic difficulty adjustment algorithm (DAA). talked to Bitcoin ABC lead developer Amaury Séchet and Bitprim CEO Juan Garavaglia about what to expect.

Also read: Bitcoin Cash Community Preps Hard Fork Slated for November 13

Statement on November 13 Hard Fork

The Bitcoin ABC development team issued a statement on Monday regarding the upcoming hard fork of Bitcoin Cash (BCC). The upgrade is intended to address the cryptocurrency’s problematic DAA, which makes Bitcoin Cash’s blocktimes slow to a crawl at times and work several times too fast at others. According to the announcement:

Activation of the new consensus rules will be done on a median time stamp basis on blocks that occur after timestamp 1510600000, which corresponds to November 13th, 2:06 PM GMT.

In addition, “this activation code has been merged,” the statement continued, adding that a new software version containing an updated DAA will be published on or before November 1.

Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork Upgrade Plans - Difficulty Adjustment Algorithm Chosen
Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork Upgrade Plans – Difficulty Adjustment Algorithm Chosen

Bitcoin ABC’s lead developer, Amaury Séchet, told on Monday that “nodes need to upgrade. Some wallets need to [upgrade], others do not. It depends on the technology powering the wallet.” He believes that the upgrade “is unlikely to result in a split this time, so the overall risk is reduced.” However, the developer suggested that “users should double check their transactions on an explorer such as or if they have doubts.”

It is up to the decentralized Bitcoin Cash development community, especially the other node and wallet development teams, to upgrade their software before November 13 in order for the hard fork to proceed smoothly. Project developers stated that they “have been in communication with Bitcoin Cash miners and they are expecting this upgrade.”

Competition for the New DAA

The Monday statement describes five criteria which the new DAA algorithm seeks to accomplish. It needs to “adjust difficulty to hash rate to target a mean block interval of 600 seconds”; “avoid sudden changes in difficulty when hash rate is fairly stable”; “adjust difficulty rapidly when hash rate changes rapidly”; “avoid oscillations from feedback between hash rate and difficulty”; and “be resilient to attacks such as timestamp manipulation”.

These criteria address problems with the cryptocurrency’s original DAA, called the Emergency Difficulty Adjustment (EDA). The statement explained:

The original Bitcoin Cash “EDA” allowed Bitcoin Cash to survive as a minority chain but produces wild fluctuations of hashrate. This is problematic because it prevents consistently fast confirmations for users, and radically shifts the coin issuance schedule.

Three algorithms satisfying the criteria from developers in the greater Bitcoin Cash community were tested. They were D578 from Neil Booth; D601 from Amaury Séchet; and D622 from Tom Harding.

Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork Upgrade Plans - Difficulty Adjustment Algorithm Chosen
Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork Upgrade Plans – Difficulty Adjustment Algorithm Chosen

Two development teams in the Bitcoin Cash space that did not submit proposals, Bitprim and Nchain, reviewed the three proposed algorithms. After weeks of testing to judge their performance, Séchet’s DAA was chosen to replace the EDA.

Séchet told that the testing showed another algorithm, Harding’s D622, performed “slightly better overall, but is also more complex to analyze from a security point of view and as a result was put aside for now.” He also believes the D622 algorithm could be improved upon and replace his own in the future, but he feels that “we must not delay solving a problem that is currently live on the network for too long.”

According to the Monday statement, Nchain found that Séchet’s DAA “is the logical choice,” despite the fact that D622 “is 3.1% (+/- 1.2% at 95% CI) better in most instances.” However, the faster algorithm lacked safety in their estimation. “For example, a large miner can set fluctuations into the timing,” Nchain mentioned, adding that:

We acknowledge that D601 (proposal from Amaury Séchet) may not necessarily have the highest performance, but since all 3 had similar performance, D601 was selected because it appears to have the least risk.

Why the Upgrade is Needed

Since its launch at the beginning of August, Bitcoin Cash has displayed a highly variable time between blocks being mined. With both Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, this blocktime is supposed to average out to six blocks per hour, no matter how much hashrate is pointed at it.

Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork Upgrade Plans - Difficulty Adjustment Algorithm Chosen
Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork Upgrade Plans – Difficulty Adjustment Algorithm Chosen

The fluctuation in the time between blocks on the newer chain is so strong that production can jump between one block every four hours to a high of 61 blocks the following hour, like it did on October 12. With such a fast production rate, the Bitcoin Cash chain has lept over 7,800 blocks (55 days) ahead of the legacy chain recently. At that rate, it would be time for the next mining reward halving event much earlier than planned. Once halved, the Bitcoin Cash blockchain would be far less profitable than Bitcoin’s blockchain and profit-driven miners would likely abandon Bitcoin Cash.

The EDA, which is responsible for these wild fluctuations, was created to help keep the mining hashrate steady during its first few weeks. Soon after the Bitcoin Cash community’s developers realized the EDA problem, a debate ensued about how to remove it and what to replace it with in order to keep the miners interested in mining bitcoin cash.

Juan Garavaglia, the CEO and founder of the Bitprim project, told that “we expect the new algo will mitigate fluctuations in block generation, giving Bitcoin Cash users a better user experience and is one step forward aligned with Satoshi original vision.”

Séchet shared the sentiment, telling that, after the upgrade:

The hashrate on the BCH chain should be more stable, as well as the block production. We should see a split of the hashrate between BTC and BCH that is close to the split in term of price.

What do you think will be the result of the Bitcoin Cash hard fork? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Bitcoin ABC.

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