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Bitcoin ATMs Around the World

The number of cryptocurrency ATMs around the world is getting closer to 5000.

ATMs around the world

Coinatmradar.com counts 4768 crypto ATMs around the world, with almost 3000 of those located in North America.

Better than the banks?

Tim Curry, the head of marketing at Blockchain BTM has announced that the machines are similar to banks in a box, offering less delay than the crypto exchanges.

EU Regulators Struggle With Crypto Markets

Some studies indicate that the regulators are experiencing hardships with the nature of crypto markets, which has especially hit EU.

The international challenge

A recent study requested by the European Parliament Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs has indicated that the regulators are challenged to implement appropriate measures for international cryptocurrency markets.

The research suggests, that the main problem attributed to this phenomena, is the mining process. Mining is the main driving aspect of crypto-backed technology propagation, which is essential for the cryptocurrency market. The challenge arises due to the international concentration of miners, a big part of them being outside the EU.

G20 talk about financial stability

G20 held meetings from 21 to 22 July in Argentina to discuss challenges over the global economy. Their talks involved topics about weak growth, international imbalances, and financial vulnerabilities. In these contexts, also the crypto-assets were mentioned.

As usual, the crypto discussions posed the same questions about tax evasion, financial instability, and money laundering.

A new AML crypto standard

G20 asked the Financial Action Task Force about how the AML standards against misuse of the crypto-assets can be applied. The Financial Stability Board provided on their turn updates about the dangers of crypto-assets.

The Financial Stability board responded similarly as in the previous G20’s meeting in March highlighting, that the crypto assets don’t pose any danger for the global economy. There weren’t any unified decisions regarding the issues, however, G20 asked the Financial Action Task Force to give a response by October on how their AML standards can be applied to the crypto-assets.

Bitcoin Reaches $8000 While Altcoins See Low Market Activity

The past several days have been an interesting time for the crypto community. Bitcoin has broken the $8000 mark since earlier this year and has been steadily growing.  However, many other cryptocurrencies are continuing to have low market activity, which is hard to explain.

Bitcoin’s dominance

Bitcoin continues to dominate the crypto markets in all aspects, and the unexpected growth staying by more than 50% high, has attracted much debate.

In major part its progression might be caused in big part by the anticipation against a boosted institutional adoption. It is considered that with the growth of Bitcoin, the rest of the market will suffer. However, it still doesn’t explain the continuous decline that all of the cryptocurrencies have been undergoing the current year.

Are altcoins dying?

The volatility in the crypto world is nothing new and with that said, it is highly unlikely that other cryptocurrencies that were mainstream in this year, will go down for good.

Bitcoin is about 60% down from its all-time high, however, such coins as XRP and dash have decreased by more than 80%.

Many sources suggest that this happens due to the investors’ poor understanding level of concepts surrounding the crypto world. The early money that has been invested seems to be profitable once again, however, as many inexperienced investors continue to stay away from other cryptocurrencies, they might continue their slow decline.

First Decentralized Bank in Malta

A new project targeted towards chaining traditional bank systems and cryptocurrencies has been initiated by Binance. The investors are already launching a fundraising campaign that will follow the German law.

Binance seeking opportunities

Binance is the world’s biggest crypto exchange by trade volume. They are seeking support from other investors in order to launch a decentralized bank owned by the community. They have already taken a pre-money valuation of 5% stake at $155 million.

This would become the first institution to chain the crypto industry with traditional banking.

Progress in response to pressure

The crypto industry has been recently hit by intense regulatory pressure in Japan, South Korea, and Hong Kong.

Binance has taken the opportunity in their hands trying to fix this after their CEO, Changpeng Zhao, announced that their platform might accumulate a net profit up to $1billion in this year.

However, Binance is not the only exchange that came up with this location. Polish exchange Bitbay, and one of the major Chinese exchanges, Okex, have both revealed that they will be acting inside the country.

Malta and the crypto community

The authorities in Malta have greeted the idea of welcoming crypto-backed institutions. In this year they have adopted many rules that will ease the growth of the crypto industry. It has become one of the main competitors alongside Switzerland, that would host many projects backed by the crypto community.

 

How Much Energy does Bitcoin Actually Consume?

The growth of Bitcoin’s energy consumption has always been a popular topic, however, in the recent years it’s electricity usage has almost equaled small nations like Iceland and Ireland. Many doubt these claims, but how true are they

Bitcoin consumes as much as Ireland

Some media claim often that the level of Bitcoin mining energy consumption has already reached an equal level to that of Ireland. Alex de Vires, a Bitcoin specialist, has estimated the Bitcoin’s consumption to reach 22 TWh, which is almost the same as Ireland’s.

Many people are troubled by the fact that Bitcoin’s energy consumption is constantly on the rise. Still, how can a virtual currency that requires only electrical energy to run, consume that much?

Ireland has relatively high rates for electricity

Ireland’s electricity consumption is one of the most expensive in EU. The average Irish citizen paid around 23 cents per kWh in the second half of 2017, which is higher than the EU average. In Bulgaria, which has some of the lowest electricity consumption rates in EU, it accounted about 10 cents per kWh.

Verdict

Bitcoin’s electricity usage in 2017 was 22 TWh, while Ireland’s 25TWh. There remains a considerable difference between the two, which can’t be declared as equal. While Bitcoin’s energy consumption needs will be rising, so will be the case for Ireland and other countries.

We might not see an end to the proof of work algorithm in Bitcoin, which plays a core part in cryptocurrency’s requirements, however, over a decade or two, some shifts might happen, which will either strongly question the actuality of Bitcoin, or give it a second chance.

First Decentralized Crowdfunding Crypto Platform Launched

Lighthouse is a decentralized crowdfunding crypto platform powered by Bitcoin Cash. Their idea focuses on managing a crowdfunding campaign without any middle-man, allowing to set up your pledges on their servers or offline, in a decentralized way.

Finished project from the past

Back in 2014, Bitcoin developer Mike Hearn has presented the app in Amsterdam at the Bitcoin Conference. However, the idea was dropped after criticism regarding scalability arose. The project was brought back to life and finished by an anonymous developer, who made it public on https://lighthouse.cash.

Better than others?

App’s developers claim that Lighthouse replaces such crowdfunding campaigns as Kickstarter and Indiegogo. It is able to compete with some of the biggest names due to the implemented innovative technologies based on blockchain.

The funds are directly linked to the users and don’t depend on any source. Another advantage is the low fees, due to the proprieties of Bitcoin Cash network, which eliminate the contribution to any 3rd parties. Finally, the decentralized nature of the project prevents potential censorship. However, for hosting the crowdfunding on Lighthouse’s server, the project is required to abide by EU laws.

More features in future

At the time of publication, there are only three public projects available and there are no fees required for setting up an own crowdfunding. The developers promise that in future there will be many new features including Tor mode, mobile support, and systematic software updates.

Stock Exchanges Go Crypto in Switzerland

Switzerland’s principal stock exchange, SIX, has announced that they are building a fully integrated trading settlement for digital assets.

The launch of the Swiss Digital Exchange

The company has commented that the Swiss Digital Exchange (SDX) will become the first digital market infrastructure with integrated trading, settlement and custody service for digital assets. The users will be able to tokenize existing securities and assets to make them tradable, even if they were untradeable before.

Bitcoin trade?

It is still remains uncertain if the platform will trade cryptocurrencies, but there have been publications from Financial Times and Business insider, mentioning that SIX will trade such cryptocurrencies as Bitcoin.

However, SIX wrote in a tweet that the question about cryptocurrency and ICO token trade remains still open.

Switzerland making a breakthrough in the crypto space?

Switzerland s now one of the few countries that have integrated cryptocurrencies into many sectors and services. The city of Zug has an area called the crypto valley, which is often referred to be derived from Silicon Valley.

This year, the country’s Ministry of Economy has mentioned that Switzerland should become a crypto nation in the nearest future. The country might be offering banking services to their crypto firms soon after frustrations over banks’ refusal have been often reported.

The crypto sphere is slowly taking over European countries, which might lead to more interesting changes in the near future.

Japan’s Line Corp Launches Own Exchange

The Japanese company behind the popular chat app, Line, have announced that they will be launching their own crypto exchange, Bitbox.

Line is the most popular chatting app in Japan with over 200m users.

The new exchange – Bitbox

The Japanese exchange will include more than 30 cryptocurrencies with a 15 language support.

Idezawa Takeshi, Line Corp’s CEO, commented that the selected cryptocurrencies have gone a through an extensive screening process ensuring that the users can keep their assets and securely make transactions.

Mr. Idezawa added that the cryptocurrencies would feature very low transaction fees – just 0.1%.

The only excluded countries to have access to the exchange are USA and Japan.

The exchange will feature the model of crypto to crypto exchange, without the involvement of fiat currencies.

Line Corp will launch its exchange after months of uncertainty

The company applied in January to operate as a crypto exchange. Each company must have Japan’s Financial Services Agency approval to have the rights to function. However, at that time one of the biggest exchanges, Coincheck was hacked. After that, the FSA have tightened their registration rules to ensure proper order among the Japanese exchanges.

In the recent Line Conference, the company announced that the exchange will be launched in July 2018.

The Line app is mostly used in Japan, Indonesia, Taiwan, and Thailand. Their daily active users to monthly active users in all countries are continuing to rise progressively.

Mastercard Granted Patent for Anonymous Third Party Transactions

Mastercard was granted a new patent regarding anonymous transactions that involve a third party processor.

The patent was granted after Mastercard’s previous attempt in 2016 was filed back. Since its formation in 1966, the financial service corporation has marked itself as a world leader with annual revenue of $13bn.

Mastercard finds controversial solution

Mastercard was searching for a solution to satisfy the confidential needs of all parties involved in a transaction.

The patent grants them the right to generate transactions similar to those of a public blockchain. Ironically, it falls into the crypto category, which the company has been battling against. However, regarding anonymity, Mastercard has taken another approach.

Privacy matters

While the traditional blockchain scheme based on Bitcoin Core (BTC) remains accessible for consumers and businesses, Mastercard wants to avoid information leaks that could be used otherwise. By keeping specific data secret, they could use it to make profit, as selling the data or securing the information of specific transactions could act in the interest of particular individuals. The third party comes into play to help enable some specific ways of data circulation.

Mastercard

Mastercard needs to ensure efficiency that would directly offer no-worse alternatives than the blockchain. While the anonymous cryptocurrencies are growing at a fast pace, the corporation would continue offering particular solutions suited for different businesses and individuals.

Cryptocurrency Prices Continue Falling Before the End of June

Cryptocurrency prices have been slowly sinking over the past weeks, however, in the past few days, a drastic change manifested, where losses up to 20 percent have occurred.

Who is at fault?

Many consider that the markets have been impacted after Japan’s move to penalize crypto exchanges for lack of reliable trading environments.

However, it remains unclear if that was the only reason behind the disruptions.

Market activities

In the past few days, Bitcoin Core (BTC) has dropped by 8.5%, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) by 12.5%, Ethereum (ETH) by 10.7%, while XRP by 7%.

The BTC prices stay around $6130 with a market dominance of 40.7%. The most-traded BTC happen to be on Bitflyer, Binance, and Bitfinex. The Japanese Yen accounts for over 50% of the trades for the past week followed by USD and USDT.

The BCH has continued tumbling accounting around $750 at the time of writing – 25th June 2018. The key exchanges where BCH is traded are Bitfinex, Okex, and Huobi. BCH is mostly traded against BTC which is followed by USDT, USD, and ETH. At the moment it has a market capitalization of 13.2Bn with an average 24-hour volume trade of 416Million.

What’s next?

The nature of cryptocurrencies remains volatile as ever. Many are calling it the bottom, while others are happy for the new long-term investment opportunities. However, nobody can tell for sure how long it might last and what kind of events it might trigger.

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