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Overstock Announces Alaska as State Conducting Most Cryptocurrency Purchases

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Untitled design 33 1068x1068 Overstock Announces Alaska as State Conducting Most Cryptocurrency Purchases



Economics

Overstock board member, Jonathan Johnson, has revealed the top five U.S. states that most frequently conduct purchases using cryptocurrency. Overstock became the first major retailer to accept bitcoin back in 2014, and now accepts roughly 50 different cryptocurrencies.

Also Read: Overstock.com’s Stock Shares Soar in Relation to Bitcoin

The Company Has Revealed Hawaii as Its Top State for Cryptocurrency Purchases

Untitled design 32 300x200 Overstock Announces Alaska as State Conducting Most Cryptocurrency PurchasesOverstock has revealed the five states that conduct the most purchases using cryptocurrencies. The states are Alaska, Delaware, Oregon, Wyoming, and Hawaii – which many have found surprising, considering that said states are not seen as fintech hubs. THe retailer made this determination by assessing the percentage of overall revenue in each state that was generated through cryptocurrency purchases.

In terms of absolute cryptocurrency revenues, the most populated states rank the highest, such as California, New York, Texas, and Florida. The company approximates that it processes $300,000 USD worth of cryptocurrency-based sales each month in total.

Overstock Began Accepting Bitcoin in January 2014

Overstock 300x75 Overstock Announces Alaska as State Conducting Most Cryptocurrency PurchasesOverstock board member, Jonathan Johnson, described the motivations underscoring the company’s choice to become a leading commercial entity active within the cryptocurrency space. “We saw from the 2013 banking crisis in Cyprus that bitcoin was a good store of value and could act as a currency. We like the pro-freedom aspect of Bitcoin.”

Johnson described the cryptocurrency-purchasing demographic, stating that they “tend to be male and buy twice as much as those paying with regular currency.“ Johnson added that “people paying with cryptocurrency don’t buy anything drastically different from other customers.”

Overstock Has Been Very Active in the Cryptocurrency Space During 2017

Untitled design 34 300x200 Overstock Announces Alaska as State Conducting Most Cryptocurrency PurchasesIn September, it was announced that Tzero, a majority-owned subsidiary of Overstock, will launch a trading platform for Initial Coin Offerings that is compliant with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) legislation. The platform was able to achieve regulatory compliance by registering as an “Alternative Trading System’.

In August, Overstock became the first major U.S. retailer to accept bitcoin cash and several prominent altcoins via point-of-sale payment. The company revealed that it would be doing so in partnership with Shapeshift.io.

Are your surprised by the states identified as conducting the most purchases percentage-wise using cryptocurrency? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


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Internet Archive Adds Bitcoin Cash and Zcash for Donations

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archive Internet Archive Adds Bitcoin Cash and Zcash for Donations



News

News.Bitcoin.com recently reported on the San Francisco–based digital library, the Internet Archive, ‘hodling’ its bitcoin donations and making some nice gains in the nonprofit’s yearly earnings reports. This week the Internet Archive has announced it will be accepting two more cryptocurrencies — bitcoin cash and zcash.  

Also read: Internet Archive and Overstock to ‘Hodl’ More Bitcoin Revenue and Donations

The Internet Archive Now Allows Bitcoin Cash and Zcash Donations

Internet Archive logo and wordmark.svg  Internet Archive Adds Bitcoin Cash and Zcash for DonationsOn November 16, the Internet Archive revealed it will now accept bitcoin cash (BCH) and zcash (ZEC), alongside the bitcoin (BTC) donations it’s been accepting since 2012. The nonprofit explains the team has always been a fan of the cryptocurrency movement just as they believe in providing a free and secure internet backup for the public.

“We’ve been accepting Bitcoin donations since 2012, and starting this week, we are now accepting donations of Bitcoin Cash and Zcash,” explains the Internet Archive’s recent blog post.    

It all started when ‘UKcryptocurrency’ tweeted us asking the Internet Archive to start accepting bitcoin cash — We love a good challenge and got that link up within hours.

servers at internet archive Internet Archive Adds Bitcoin Cash and Zcash for Donations
Servers at the Internet Archive’s data center.

Accessible Knowledge Forever and for Free

Founded by Brewster Kahle in 1996, the Archive has been a popular 501(c)(3) nonprofit headquartered in the U.S. The platform allows individuals to upload and download a vast cache of digital data while also managing a web archive called the Wayback Machine. According to Wikipedia, the Archive hosts the largest book digitization cache in the world.

Kahle has explained that cryptocurrency donations have been a big part of the charitable organization’s funding, and he’s even paid Archive employees in bitcoin over the years. The disruption bitcoin brings to the world of finance is very much tied to the evolution of the information age, and Kahle aims to keep the archive going for generations to come.          

“We are a non-profit organization with a huge mission: to give everyone access to all knowledge — the books, web pages, audio, television and software of our shared humanity — Forever — For Free,” the Archive’s blog post concludes.

What do you think about the Internet Archive accepting bitcoin cash and zcash? Let us know in the comments below.


Images via the Internet Archive. 


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Amaury Séchet Proposes New Bitcoin Cash Address Format for January 14

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cahsaddar 1068x1068 Amaury Séchet Proposes New Bitcoin Cash Address Format for January 14



Technology

This week, the lead developer for Bitcoin ABC, Amaury Séchet, sent out a proposal via the developer’s mailing list to upgrade the address format for the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network. Séchet says the need to change the address format is “pressing” and the developer suggests aiming for deployment around January 14, 2018.

Also read: Meet the New Bitcoin Cash P2P Exchange Localbitcoincash.org

Bitcoin ABC Developer Amaury Séchet Proposes New Bitcoin Cash Address Format

BCC Amaury Séchet Proposes New Bitcoin Cash Address Format for January 14Back in October, news.Bitcoin.com reported on BCH developers discussing a change to the network’s current address format. Right now, there have been issues with people sending BCH to BTC addresses or vice versa; making the mistakenly sent funds unspendable. Bitcoin ABC’s lead developer, Amaury Séchet, has announced proposing to fix this problem after the new year with a new address format called the “Cashaddr format.” The protocol is based on work designed by Rusty Russel – who helped configure the format from a codebase called “bech32,” proposed by bitcoin developer Pieter Wuille.

“Bitcoin Cash has been in need for a new address format for quite some time — There is an immediate problem as people mistakenly send BCH to BTC address and vice versa, which is made worse by the fact that Segwit on the BTC chain had the brilliant idea to leverage outputs that anyone can spend, which make the recovery of the funds delicate on the Bitcoin Cash chain,” Séchet’s proposal explains.

While the problem of funds sent on the wrong chain is pressing, there are other reasons we need to update the address format. It is imperative that the chosen standard for Bitcoin Cash address the various issues present in the current address format as we cannot change addresses every other Tuesday.   

Séchet: ‘We Aim for Deployment Around January 14’

Séchet details that the Cashaddr format utilizes a strong checksum which ensures detection of up to 6 errors in an address and 8 in a ‘burst.’ The format also functions better with QR codes and allows the use of the alphanumeric mode. “It is also much faster to encode and decode than the previous format, which is important for a system having to handle a large number of addresses,” Séchet emphasizes.

The Bitcoin ABC programmer explains that there’s a need to reduce address confusion and he believes it is necessary to deploy the upgrade soon.

“Deploying such a change on the network will take some time for all wallets, exchanges and merchants to upgrade,” Séchet notes. “Christmas and the new year is coming soon, and nobody wants to do such an upgrade during this time.”  

As a result, I propose we aim for deployment around January 14, 2018. This leaves two months for everybody to get ready which I think is reasonable. Delaying further would push us into the Chinese new year territory, which is also undesirable.

Openbazaar Developer: ‘It’s Not a Protocol Change’

Currently, the community seems optimistic about Séchet’s suggestion, but some seem confused to whether or not the upgrade is a protocol change. Openbazaar developer, Chris Pacia, explains to BCH supporters that it does not require a hard fork.

“It’s not a protocol change — It’s a change to the address serialization,” explains Pacia. “Obviously you only want to use a wallet that uses the new address type if other wallets understand it and are capable of paying to it. It’s kind of one of those things where everyone should upgrade around the same time to avoid segmentation,” the developer concludes.

What do you think about the Bitcoin Cash network changing its address format? Let us know in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock, and Bitcoincash.org.


At news.Bitcoin.com all comments containing links are automatically held up for moderation in the Disqus system. That means an editor has to take a look at the comment to approve it. This is due to the many, repetitive, spam and scam links people post under our articles. We do not censor any comment content based on politics or personal opinions. So, please be patient. Your comment will be published.



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The Future of China’s Blockchain Development is Still Bright

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Three months have passed since the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) issued an official statement explicitly defining initial coin offerings (ICOs) as illegal public financing activities. As a result, all China-based ICO projects were required to refund all initial investments, regardless of whether or not project-based tokens were issued; foreign-based projects were required to refund investors as long as the tokens had not been issued; and more importantly, all China-based bitcoin exchanges, including Huobi, OKCoin and BTCC, shut down. The reason given for shutting down: pressure from “related government departments.”

Pessimists believed this would herald the end of Bitcoin in China — and even around the world — a sentiment that has been enhanced by the astonishing plummet of bitcoin price on Chinese exchanges from around $7,400 to as low as $2,400. And, as usual, whenever rumors float out of China, markets react — whether those rumors are based entirely, partially or not at all in truth.

As bitcoin exchanges in China shut down, public trading volumes of Chinese Yuan became literally zero; therefore, any news from China related to Bitcoin should be irrelevant to the price. Bitcoin’s ferocious bounce-back to nearly $8,000 in mid-November 2017, an all-time high, confirmed the point that no matter what is going on in China and regardless of Chinese hurdles, the price of bitcoin will continue its ascent.

But there is an exception: mining.

Will Mining Be Shut Down?

China is still the largest host country for mining facilities. Indeed, 70 percent of hash power globally comes from Chinese mining pools. The miners produced by Chinese company Bitmain dominate the whole industry.

People worry about whether the Chinese government will ban mining, thereby eliminating Bitcoin from China at its source and throwing the ecosystem into disarray. However, this is highly unlikely.

The recent rumor that a mining ban is becoming a reality was derived from a flyer, distributed by a power station in the Chinese province of Sichuan. The flyer stated, “Bitcoin is illegal thus the company shall not provide electricity to mining facilities.”

In fact, this flyer is nothing more than a poorly worded, company-level notice that mistakenly used the word “illegal.” The content, however, has since been misconstrued as proof of an official ban on Bitcoin mining.

caixin.original The Future of Chinas Blockchain Development is Still Bright

An internal notice by a local power station stating that “bitcoin production is illegal”

The financial desk of Caixin — a reputable Chinese news source — and several citizen-based media sources have interviewed the power company in question. These sources have since confirmed that this interpretation is nothing more than overhyped “fake news.” The notice was meant for internal use only. Its chief aim was to warn its affiliates about the risks associated with providing illegal electricity. The power station and its affiliates can generate electricity but have not secured the requisite approval from the government to sell electricity to anyone — not just miners.

It is important to reiterate that China has never denounced Bitcoin as illegal. Bitcoin itself in China is regarded as a type of good. “People have the freedom to participate [in] bitcoin trading as type of goods on the internet,” a PBOC notice stated in 2013. Therefore, the government has no reason to shut down the “factories” producing normal “goods.” While it is true that there are reports circulating that mining facilities are facing the pressure of possible suspension, the reason for this pressure is related to their illegal use of electricity, not mining activities.

More convincingly, Caixin reported on October 13 that “a person close to the regulator said to Caixin that China has no plan to ban mining.”

Lastly, there is a good chance that China could decide to create its own regulated Bitcoin trading market. If these plans become a reality, China is even less likely to ban mining.

There are two reasons why this theory may be valid. First, China is highly motivated to enter the trading market. Japan has licensed several cryptocurrency exchanges, and CME is stepping up efforts to list bitcoin futures to build a more regulated trading market.

China, as the second-largest economy, has good reason to want to build its own regulated market, too. The logic is that as bitcoin trading can’t simply be banned by any single government due to its decentralized nature, banning it will only result in uncontrollable OTC trading that might result in more hidden-capital flight. This is the last thing that the Chinese government will want to see. Therefore, both external pressure and Bitcoin’s internal features will drive China to think about a better mode of regulation.

Second, Caixin also hinted that a more regulated bitcoin market in China might be possible in its article titled “Will Bitcoin Come Back to China After China Becomes Less Relevant to Bitcoin?” The article ends with: “Maybe someday when regulators find a better way to regulate Bitcoin, we can’t preclude the possibility that Bitcoin will come back to China.”

Caixin holds a special status among all media sources for the Chinese Bitcoin industry. It has long been the primary source for regulation and policy signals from the PBOC: It has literally become the mouthpiece for the PBOC in regard to regulating Bitcoin. The fact that this sentiment was allowed to be published under such tightly controlled circumstances makes it particularly interesting and relevant.

Blockchain Development Still Going Strong

The reputation of blockchain technology, which underlies Bitcoin itself, has been stained by the speculation side of bitcoin and alt coins to some extent. But luckily, the development of blockchain technology is still an important directive and priority for China.

According to China’s Premier Li Keqiang last year ― in the government’s 13th Five-Year Plan for Economic and Social Development ― blockchain technology has been listed as an important area of development for Chinese endeavors. As long as this remains the case in China, we can expect to see overall favorable conditions for accelerated growth in the industry.

Chinese blockchain startups are beginning to expand their communities overseas, and Chinese exchanges have launched international sites. Investors, though less than before and less openly, are still committing to blockchain-based enterprises. Consortium blockchain solutions are being welcomed by big companies. In short, there is more rationality and less speculation.

In fact, the so-called ICO ban is actually just an announcement, rather than a specific law. There is a very subtle balance between the industry and the regulators. The industry is testing governmental and regulatory boundaries as it reaches toward more autonomy. The government, for its part, is observing whether the industry really will live up to its revolutionary promises and is deciding on the best way to encourage innovation while also avoiding speculation risks.

The blockchain industry needs to win regulators’ trust by actually solving commercial pain points to prove that token-oriented models are feasible. If no project can prove this and tokens still remain a tool of pure speculation, the industry simply can’t expect looser policies. It is up to the crypto and blockchain community to live up to its promise and deliver the innovation that the modern world needs and expects.



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Ripple Makes a Splash: XRP Price Looks Up on Amex News

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Ripple’s XRP cryptocurrency is trading on the front foot again.

Having hit a 4-week high of $0.27 at 14:00 UTC yesterday, the Ripple-U.S. dollar (XRP/USD) exchange rate is back to at $0.23 at press time – up 7 percent on the day, as per CoinMarketCap.

And though the spike has faded somewhat, there are reasons to be optimistic about the cryptocurrency’s price going forward.

The strong bid tone in XRP may be associated with yesterday’s revelation that American Express (Amex) and Santander have teamed up with Ripple for direct cross-border payments via the company’s blockchain tech.

Though XRP itself is not being used, Ripple’s blockchain network will help facilitate the near-immediate transfer of funds from Amex’s corporate customers in the U.S. to businesses that bank with Santander UK. Ripple has also said it expects XRP to play more of a role in future partnerships.

Comments made by Ripple’s CEO yesterday to Bloomberg can’t be hurting the price, either. “It’s only a matter of time before central banks adopt blockchain to settle high-value, interbank fund transfers,” Brad Garlinghouse told the news source.

But while the news flow looks supportive of prices, the charts also favor further upside in XRP.

Daily chart

ripple Ripple Makes a Splash: XRP Price Looks Up on Amex News

The above chart shows:

  • Rounding bottom formation.
  • Relative strength index (RSI) above 50.00 (in the bullish territory).
  • Prices trade above the 50-day moving average (MA) ($0.2172), but below the rounding bottom neckline level of $0.22.

A rounding bottom is a long-term reversal pattern that indicates a bearish-to-bullish trend change. A move above the neckline is usually considered a confirmation of the bullish trend.

View

  • A close today (as per UTC) above $0.2288 would confirm rounding bottom breakout/bullish trend reversal and open up upside towards $0.30 (Oct. 16 high) and $0.3291 (Jun. 1 high).
  • Any dips are likely to be short-lived, given the 5-day MA and 10-day MA is curled up in favor of the bulls.
  • However, multiple 4-hour closes below $0.20 could abort the bullish view.

Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in Ripple.

Splash image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at [email protected].

Disclaimer: This article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide, investment advice. Please conduct your own thorough research before investing in any cryptocurrency.



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