Bitcoin Usage Falls to Its Lowest in Months

Bitcoin Usage Falls to Its Lowest in Months

There’s never a bad time to be sending and receiving bitcoin, but right now is especially good. Fees are at the lowest in 18 months, with the average transaction value now under a dollar. This contrasts starkly with the latter quarter of last year, when rising fees peaked at $34. There’s a primary reason why fees have been dropping since then: with bitcoin too expensive to send, people simply stopped using it as currency.

Also read: How to Calculate Bitcoin Transaction Fees When You’re in a Hurry

Bitcoin Fees Take a Tumble

It’s not just the USD/BTC market that oscillates: bitcoin’s fee market follows suit. Due to various factors ranging from network usage to Segwit adoption and hashrate, fees can rise and fall significantly. Throughout 2017, that trajectory was largely an upward one, culminating, in December, with fees becoming infeasible. Transaction fees have been mercifully declining since then, hitting an 18-month low as of February 21, but given that daily transaction volume has halved in the same period, that’s not surprising. A standard six-block transaction can now be pushed through for as little as 15 cents. Bitinfocharts calculates a median fee of 52 cents, versus just over 1 cent for bitcoin cash.

This reduction in transaction fees will not be felt by all bitcoin users however. Anyone withdrawing from an exchange will still be hit with standard fees. Binance and Kucoin, for example, set a flat rate of 0.001 BTC, or around $10.60 at current prices. As Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao pointed out in a recent tweet, though, exchanges have a case for charging above the base rate for the service they’re supplying. Whether they can justify charging upwards of $10 a time is a matter for debate though.

Bitcoin Fees Fall to Their Lowest in Months

Why the Low Fees?

High transaction fees arguably helped push the “store of value” meme that was popularized on r/bitcoin last year. Saddled with a cryptocurrency that was too expensive to send in small amounts, there was little choice but to hodl and wait for BTC to appreciate in value. Soaring fees were one of the triggers for a number of businesses to stop accepting bitcoin including Stripe and, ironically, the North American Bitcoin Conference. Steam also stopped accepting bitcoin in December, citing “high fees and volatility”. Frustrating as fees have been for users of the bitcoin network, some good has come of this predicament.

Bitcoin Fees Fall to Their Lowest in Months

Users and exchanges have scrambled to seek out ways of making transactions more efficient, with fixes including batching transactions together and adopting Segwit. Exorbitant fees also spurred quicker trials of the Lightning Network, though its adoption is still too low to have affected current bitcoin fees. Evidence suggests that the biggest driver in fee reduction was not technical, but sociological: on December 17, almost half a million bitcoin transactions were sent. That figure now averages under 200,000 a day.

With fees now at the lowest they’ve been in 18 months, it will be interesting to see whether retailers such as Valve will resume support for cryptocurrencies or steer clear until some sort of stability can be maintained. A number of companies have previously spoken of considering alternative cryptos, with Stripe mentioning litecoin, stellar, and bitcoin cash.

Bitcoin’s real test will come when people resume using the cryptocurrency as a medium of exchange and blocks begin to fill up once more.

Do you think bitcoin fees are now at a reasonable rate, or do they need to fall further still? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Smartbtc Sees the Need for Centralized Python-Based Smart Contracts

Smartbtc Sees the Need for Centralized Python-Based Smart Contracts

Just recently the startup Smartbtc announced the execution of a bitcoin-based smart contract written in the Python codebase. The team intended to grow their Twitter following by creating a contract that paid 0.011 BTC after it accrued 1,000 followers in sixty days. After the goal was met, Smartbtc’s Python contract executed on February 19.

Also read: United Bitcoin May Be the Most Controversial Fork to Date

Python Based Contracts Tethered to BTC Payouts

Smartbtc Sees the Need for Centralized Python-Based Smart Contracts Smartbtc is a platform that facilitates smart contracts tethered to BTC chain payouts, and contracts are written entirely in Python code. The contract’s programming considers the agreement fulfilled after the “def contract()” Python method returns ‘True.’ One thing to note is Smartbtc is a centralized service and contracts are executed periodically until it is fulfilled or it expires. Even though the contracts rely on a level of trust and Smartbtc’s servers, the developer believes a centralized type of contract infrastructure tied to BTC payments will still be needed. Smartbtc’s creator thinks existing financial institutions and average users will gravitate towards these types of maintained agreements as opposed to a system that’s entirely decentralized. Even smart contracts written in Ethereum’s Solidity codebase require a level of trust in the autonomous nature alongside putting faith in codebase audits. 

Smartbtc Sees the Need for Centralized Python-Based Smart Contracts
Smartbtc’s Python contract platform.

Helping Entrepreneurs Pay for Results

The application fees are calculated by the agreement period and execution interval which can be anywhere between 1-2 percent. If the contract obligation is not fulfilled the owner will be charged 0.5 percent of the arrangement cost and the rest of the sum is returned back to the originator. “If the smart contract is fulfilled the promisee will get the specified amount minus the miner fee,” explains Smartbtc’s website FAQ. The application’s code is available for review on Github and the Twitter following Python commitment was designed to showcase the platform’s ability to execute.     

“On our platform, smart contracts are written entirely in python code, to make it extra easy to write and understand,” explains the developer. “First things we have to set are: amount, receiver (contract promisee), python version (only 2.7 is supported now), how often should the contract execute (execution interval) and the duration of the contract (contract period).”

We help entrepreneurs pay for results, and to make sure the people that provide valuable services get paid every time they do amazing jobs.

Smartbtc Sees the Need for Centralized Python-Based Smart Contracts
The executed Twitter follower contract.

Contracts Don’t Have to be Difficult to Write

For the specific Twitter arrangement, the software collaborated with a Twitter API to get the approximate Twitter follower count and utilized ‘pip’ for install requests. Contracts cannot be seen by anyone, but if a person is provided with the contract’s link they will gain access and can view the deal. The Python commitments also have execution limits that are 500 MB of memory, a 30-second execution timeout, and 5 GB of disk space. Moreover, contracts cannot be terminated unless they are fulfilled or the obligations expire. There is no other way of terminating it ahead of schedule,” the company emphasizes.

Of course, some individuals take issue with the fact that Smartbtc’s services are centralized but the creators believe there are many cryptocurrency firms like Coinbase, Bitpay, and others that require a form of central trust.

“The idea I was trying to portray is that smart contracts don’t have to be difficult to write, hard to understand and limited in functionality,” Smartbtc’s creator details. “I find the idea amazing that somebody can pay somebody else if a piece of code returns the right thing — This project is how I thought I could help the community.”

What do you think about Smartbtc’s services? Do you think some individuals and businesses will seek out centrally executed contracts such as these? Let us know what you think about this platform in the comments below.

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Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the mentioned company or any of its affiliates or services. is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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Counterparty Cash Announces ERC20 Competitor with Edge Wallet Support for Tokens

Counterparty Cash Announces ERC20 Competitor with Edge Wallet Support for Tokens

This past January a project was launched that revealed a forked version of the crypto-derivative platform, Counterparty, and it’s being built for the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network. Now this week, at the Cryptopulco event in Mexico, the creator of the new BCH token infrastructure, Julian Smith, has announced that Counterparty Cash (XCPC) and all assets, tokens, and instruments released on the protocol will work natively in Edge mobile wallet including the protocol’s own XCPC token.

Also read: The ICO Scam Train Arrives in Sweden – Meet “Starflow”

The Ecosystem Building Around Bitcoin Cash Is Very Healthy

Counterparty Cash Announces ERC20 Competitor with Edge Wallet Support for TokensOn February 18 spoke with the creator of the Counterparty Cash (XCPC) protocol, a project that aims to add tokenized assets to the BCH network. Julian Smith tells us that the Counterparty Cash Association (CCA) based in Zug, Switzerland has formed a partnership with the cryptocurrency wallet provider Edge (formally Airbitz). This means that all assets and tokens based off of the XCPC protocol will work natively with Edge Mobile. Further, the blockchain logistics startup Blockfreight, Bitcoin Cash Parity, and Bitcoin ABC implementations will also support the Counterparty Cash infrastructure.

“I think that Counterparty has been an excellent experiment for Bitcoin and will be valuable to users on Bitcoin Cash,” explains Bitcoin ABC lead developer, Amaury Séchet at the Cryptopulco conference.

I see that between this initiative and similar projects working on tokenization and new OP_Codes being enabled in future releases, the ecosystem building around bitcoin cash is very healthy.

Essentially An ERC20 Protocol Competitor

Counterparty Cash Announces Edge Wallet Support for Token Assets
Julian Smith the creator of Blockfreight and Counterparty Cash.

Julian Smith who is also the founder of Blockfreight believes that the Counterparty Cash system and the ‘meta-protocol’ concept that utilizes the margin of a bitcoin transaction for declaring a specific tokenized application will help bolster BCH innovation. “Bringing this core concept to bitcoin cash is a natural extension and useful service to higher frequency on-chain transactions of many business models from financial instruments to bonds, warrants and equity within a project,” Smith explains.

What Counterparty Cash brings to bitcoin cash is essentially an ERC20 protocol competitor. In my view 2018 will see a 10x increase of token offerings on Counterparty Cash over Counterparty tied to bitcoin core.

Android and iOS Mobile Wallet Support and the Construction of Distributed Exchanges

Besides token offerings, XCPC will allow any bitcoin cash user the ability to underwrite assets and issue financial instruments and non-financial tokens, ticketing, licenses and redemption rights on the BCH chain. Adding a Counterparty infrastructure to the BCH network coupled with the system’s lower fees and faster transaction times will also enable the construction of a Distributed Exchange (DEX) that allows trading tokens without an intermediary.

Counterparty Cash Announces Edge Wallet Support for Token Assets
Edge mobile wallet was launched this week.

The Edge mobile wallet was fully launched this week and allows users to hold multiple cryptocurrencies like bitcoin cash in a non-custodial fashion. Paul Puey the founder and CEO of Edge looks forward to enabling support for the tokenized BCH assets using the Counterparty Cash protocol.     

“We have taken everything we have learned about making a bitcoin mobile wallet simple and a familiar user experience and extended that to other digital tokens,” Puey said during the conference. “Adding the ecosystem of projects adopting Counterparty Cash into Edge is on par for making Edge one of the easiest, most familiar and safe mobile wallet experience for all of our user’s key digital assets.”

What do you think about the Counterparty Cash team partnering with the Edge wallet platform? Let us know in the comments below.

Images via Shutterstock, Counterparty Cash, and Edge.

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Bitfinex Plans Launch of Decentralized Exchange Eosfinex

Bitfinex has announced that it will launch a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange built on the platform. The new platform, Eosfinex, will be the first exchange to be hosted using’s decentralized application infrastructure.

Also Read: EOS Raises $700M Despite Token Affording No “Rights, Uses, Purpose, or Features”

Bitfinex Partners With Eos to Develop Eosfinex

Bitfinex Plans Launch of Decentralized Exchange, EosfinexBitfinex claims that Eosfinex will offer a “fast, transparent and trustless platform for the trading of digital assets” through Eosfinex, which is to be the first decentralized exchange built using’s protocol.

J.L.Van Der Velde, the chief executive officer of Bitfinex, stated: “We are excited to leverage to further advance the field of high performance and trustless on-chain exchange. continues to display an unwavering dedication to improving blockchain scalability through the EOS.IO platform and it is our hope that this collaboration will allow significant advancement for all decentralized exchange.”

Mr. Van Der Velde also suggested that decentralized exchanges “represent fundamentally transformative capabilities for the blockchain industry.”

Bitfinex Banking Controversy Continues

Bitfinex Plans Launch of Decentralized Exchange, EosfinexSpeculation surrounding the opaque banking practices of Bitfinex have continued to grow in recent weeks.

According to a post on Reddit, Bitfinex has again directed customers seeking to deposit fiat currency with the exchange the account details banking institution previously not associated with Bitfinex. The Redditor claims that he was directed to deposit his funds with Portuguese state-owned banking corporation, Caixa Geral de Depositos.

Another Redditor responded to the post, stating that name of the account holder, Global Trade Solutions A.G. (GTS), “looks like a shell for CryptoCapital,” alleging that GTS is closely affiliated with Crypto.Zoo. The poster concluded that as such, Bitfinex is likely “rotating banks but [operating with] the same banking partner.”

Tether/Bitfinex to Purchase Puerto Rico Bank?

Bitfinex Plans Launch of Decentralized Exchange, EosfinexLocal media recently reported that Nicholas Prouty, the CEO of Puerto Rico-based hedge fund Putnam Bridge Funding, stated that Tether’s leading figures are seeking to purchase a bank on the Carribean Island.

According to a rough translation, Mr. Prouty said that “A group of ‘crypto guys’ are close to buying a bank in Puerto Rico. The reason they have bought a bank is that no bank in the United States is willing to accept crypto. Because Puerto Rico is a territory, there are some banking licenses that are possible here and that enable a very creative banking structure,” adding that “The bank they were working with did not want to continue working with them with that kind of responsibility. This has necessitated the purchase of a bank that requires an infusion of capital from a sovereign wealth fund to create an initial reserve. They will start banking with crypto soon.”

What is your opinion on decentralized exchanges? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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PR: Anonymous and Decentralised ID by Biometrids

Anonymous and Decentralised ID by Biometrids

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. does not endorse nor support this product/service. is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

Identity theft is one of the biggest crimes afflicting countries like the United States and Britain. According to a recent report, in 2016 alone, American citizens lost about USD 16 Billion due this misdemeanour. This figure increases to a staggering USD 106 Billion if we considered a ten year period up to 2016. In the United Kingdom, home to one of the financial capitals of the world, identity theft has doubled over an eight year period ending 2016. Clearly, investors are at risk while transacting money online.

Thankfully, there is a way out of this mess and Biometrids leads the way to minimizing identity theft.

Biometrids – What do they do?

This company specialises in the creation of anonymous and decentralised ID’s and is revolutionizing the blockchain ecosystem. Using Machine Learning, the Biometrids platform uses facial recognition to verify people as per their credentials.

There are two key terms that are used here, ‘anonymous’, and ‘decentralised’.

How do they do it?

ID’s are anonymous because the usage of the blockchain platform ensures that everyone remains invisible. Their identities are never revealed and therefore the users are safe from any fraudulent dealings.

The entire process is decentralized too because the process of authentication of online identities can be vetted by any user on the platform.

Organizations looking to avoid online identity theft can connect with Biometrids through an API.
Adopting the Biometrids platform, it is possible to execute the following;

1. Ensure that the concerned parties are genuine
2. Identify impostors and avoid identity fraud
3. Use this technology to identify people from other countries where it is not in use currently
4. The decentralized nature of the whole process makes people the masters of their own identities
5. Eliminates the middleman from the scene and makes the entire process easy and less complicated
6. Payments are more secure and online transactions carry more trust
7. Finally, this technology is a boon for all the companies that are involved in an identity related muddle.

Problems with Centralization

Centralization of identity verification techniques has its own share of problems. Hackers know the location of the central server that contains all the critical information. All they have to do is hack that central database and steal the financial records. Unfortunately for many users as well as financial institutions, their central databases contain millions of records which are open for cyber-poaching. Needless to say, cyber-hacking has not just financial but social costs as well.

Compounding the problem is the fact that more than 1 billion people in the world are unable to cross-verify their identities. In Africa alone, there are more than 502 million people who do not have driver licenses or passports to authenticate their identities. This problem also exists in the developed countries.

The Biometrids Solution

While facial recognition technology has been around for quite some time, it faces certain challenges as well. Most face recognition softwares depend upon the 2-D image of the user. This image can be gained by hackers by using remote cameras, who can use the image to hack into the user’s account(s). Biometrids uses a 3-D based software that makes it impossible to be replicated.

To conclude, Biometrids uses facial recognition technology in a way that maintains the anonymity of the users. This platform lets every user cross-verify identities and hence is decentralized too.

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This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

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Bank of America Has Filed More Cryptocurrency Patents Than Any Other Company

Bank of America Has Filed More Cryptocurrency Patents Than Any Other Company

Think of cryptocurrency developers and names like Satoshi Nakamoto, Gavin Andresen, and Nick Szabo spring to mind. Individuals who place principles ahead of profit and are more aligned with open source principles than filing patents and closely guarding their secrets. The only secret Satoshi guarded was his identity. It may come as a surprise then to learn that in the last decade, the company that has more cryptocurrency patents than any other is in many bitcoiners’ eyes the antithesis of everything decentralized currency stands for – Bank of America.

Also read: Crypto Exchanges Launch P2P Platforms from Latvia and Bulgaria

Bitcoin Patents Pile Up

Since Bitcoin’s genesis block was mined nine years ago, over 2,000 related patents have been filed, Bitcoin Patent Report reveals. In the cryptocurrency’s early years, the number of patents was low, averaging under 50 a year, but by 2015 that figure began to pick up and by 2016 was growing exponentially. Some of the companies whose names feature in the top ten are to be expected, such as Bitflyer and IBM, whose interest in blockchain is well documented. The computing giant has filed a total of 34 cryptocurrency related patents, but is outplaced by South Korean brokerage Coinplug, which is third on the list with 39.

Bank of America Has Filed More Cryptocurrency Patents Than Any Other Company

Some entrants on the list are unexpected, either because they have publicly expressed little interest in cryptocurrency, or are not commonly associated with cutting edge technology. It makes sense that Mastercard would have an interest in digital payment systems, for example, but it is surprising to see them ranked ninth for cryptocurrency related patents, with 21 filings. The greatest surprise of all is reserved for top spot, which is claimed by Bank of America, with no less than 45 patents. Last year, a total of 1,250 cryptocurrency patents were filed, demonstrating the extent to which corporations have finally caught on to bitcoin’s huge potential.

Encouraging Innovation or Stifling Competition?

A patent grants its holder exclusive rights to an invention, such as a piece of technology, for a certain period of time. While designed as a means of protecting the intellectual property of inventors, the system is not without its critics who believe that patenting deters innovation and wastes resources. For example, companies may apply for overly broad patents and then use skilled lawyers to prevent anyone from encroaching on them. Certainly, patents weren’t the first thought of the cypherpunks who sought to make the internet a better and safer place through developing cryptographic tools and later cryptocurrency.

Bank of America Has Filed More Cryptocurrency Patents Than Any Other Company

Any individual or organization can file a patent, and just because one is registered and approved doesn’t mean the technology has any merit. In other words, the number of patents an entity files is not evidence of their expertise in the field. Bitcoin’s earliest developers were more interested in creating revolutionary technology than applying to have their code protected by centralized databases. One later entrant to the scene who is synonymous with patents, however, is Craig Wright. He makes it to number two on the list by dint of EITC Holdings, which has filed 42 patents.

Bitcoin Patent Report also reveals that 50% of all crypto-related patents come from China (910) followed by the U.S. (676), U.K. (112), and South Korea (98). Regardless of the merits of each patent, and the moral case for their very existence, they indicate the unprecedented level of interest in bitcoin and the blockchain ecosystem. From insurrectionary cypherpunks to the largest corporations, everyone now has a stake in the game.

How do you feel about companies patenting cryptocurrency technology? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Crypto Exchanges Launch P2P Platforms from Latvia and Bulgaria

Crypto Exchanges Launch P2P Platforms from Latvia and Bulgaria

While European institutions are issuing another series of warnings about the risks and sins of dealing with bitcoin, crypto communities on the Old Continent are trying to preserve freedoms not granted by Brussels. Two exchanges from opposite corners of New Europe have announced plans to offer peer-to-peer cryptocurrency trading. Latvia-based Hodlhodl has launched its new P2P platform in beta-mode, and Bulgarian is developing its own service that may replace the fiat medium with a token.  

Also read: Global P2P Crypto Markets Experience Record Volume Throughout December

Going Global

Intensive work to develop decentralized and unregulated crypto markets has been going on in the EU periphery, where memories of excessive regulation and centralization, political and economic, are still vivid. Two exchanges from both ends of (New) Europe have announced preparations to offer full-fledged P2P services to their users, with global aspirations in mind, as well.

Latvian exchange Hodlhodl has just launched a beta-version of its new platform designed to accommodate safe and secure peer-to-peer transactions of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Users can now open accounts, fill out their profiles, set up two-factor authentication, create offers and study available functionalities. Contracts are currently disabled but developers hope to complete the order book and launch them within a week, the company shared in a blog post.

Crypto Exchanges Launch P2P Platforms in New Europe

In the first stage of the project only bitcoin (BTC) and litecoin (LTC) will be traded. The exchange will operate in beta-mode until July 2018 with 0% commission. A fee of max 0.6% per trade will be applied after that. “The P2P Bitcoin exchange that doesn’t hold funds” will introduce multisig (P2SH) contracts that will allow users to control their funds in escrow. Hodlhodl offers support of native Bech32 Segwit addresses and P2SH-P2WSH Segwit multisig escrow addresses. The exchange services will be decentralized and no KYC (Know Your Customer) or AML (Anti-Money Laundering) procedures will be applied. Passing an “absolutely voluntary verification”, however, will lower commissions to 0.5%.

Plans for the future include introducing support for Lightning Network micropayments and other cryptocurrencies. The website menus are now available in English and Russian, but other languages will be added. Hodlhodl will be working on optimizing transaction fees and increasing security for its users, while offering integration with wallet providers and a mobile version of the platform. Its team promises a “truly global” P2P cryptocurrency exchange.

Every Action Has a Reaction

In the opposite corner of Europe, in Bulgaria, a leading crypto trader has also announced that it is working on a P2P platform, after facing multiple issues with the traditional financial system. was affected by a sudden crackdown last year when Bulgarian banks blocked access to accounts used by local exchanges. It ceased operations in early December, and then restarted trading before going offline again around Christmas. In January, announced it was forced to suspend trade “indefinitely”.

This month the exchange posted on its website that it was exploring options to offer services without going through a bank. Now it is planning to trade Bitcoin on a new peer-to-peer platform that is currently under development. A new medium of exchange will be used instead of fiat currency – CryptoLev (Lev is the Euro pegged BGN). It will probably be an ERC20 token based on the Ethereum blockchain, founder and CEO Stamen Gorchev revealed in the company’s forum. He also mentioned Ethereum Classic as a cheaper alternative.

Crypto Exchanges Launch P2P Platforms in New Europe

The new system will offer the opportunity to trade through Cryptolevs backed by a certain amount of bitcoin “locked” in a public address. A foundation modelled on the Ethereum Foundation in Switzerland may provide further guarantees in the future. Other Bulgarian exchanges have been invited to join the project.,, and have also reported interruptions in their activities quoting various reasons including changing bank accounts.

Bank transfers will be made on a peer-to-peer basis and banks will not be able to tell if such transactions are bitcoin-related. Traders will actually be buying and selling Cryptolevs, used to purchase bitcoins. In addition to locally available services, payment options like Paypal and Skrill may also be added in the future, potentially opening the platform to global markets.

Relentless Euro Warnings

While both exchanges are working on their P2P platforms, European institutions have issued new warnings about bitcoin. Up to $5.5 billion of criminal money is being laundered in Europe using cryptocurrency, according to Europol. “It’s growing quite quickly and we’re quite concerned,” the agency’s director Rob Wainwright told the BBC. “The police cannot monitor those transactions. And if they do identify them as criminal, they have no way to freeze the assets unlike in the regular banking system”, Wainwright said.

This week, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) alerted European investors about the perils of obtaining cryptocurrencies in the absence of legal mechanisms of protection. The regulator charged with “safeguarding the stability of the European Union’s financial system” shared its concerns over the growing number of citizens buying cryptos while ignoring the risks. Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the financial stability, financial services and the capital markets union, has expressed support for ESMA’s warning.

Do you think that peer-to-peer platforms will dominate cryptocurrency trade in the near future? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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United Bitcoin May Be the Most Controversial Fork to Date

United Bitcoin Maybe the Most Controversial Fork to Date

Back on December 12 the well-known developer Jeff Garzik launched a Bitcoin Core (BTC) based fork called United Bitcoin (UBTC) after Segwit2x failed. At block height 498,777 the snapshot took place, and the UBTC network began just like the rest of the forks in existence, but claiming the tokens is far more complicated than one would think.

Also read: The 65 Percent Price Dip Has Made ‘Bitcoin Whales’ A lot More BTC

The Promises of United Bitcoin

United Bitcoin Maybe the Most Controversial Fork to DateA few months ago we reported on the UBTC project created by Jeff Garzik, his partner at the blockchain company, Bloq, chairman Matthew Roszak, and Bitbank Group’s Songxiu Hua. The team says it plans to create a credit currency system pegged against various fiat currencies alongside a native smart contract feature. The entire network is modeled after the bitcoin core blockchain prior to December 12, and all active wallet holders are able to receive UBTC at a 1:1 rate. The catch is inactive wallets will go towards the UB Foundation to support innovative blockchain development.

Over the past few weeks, the UBTC team have made some videos detailing their project’s goals to be serious cryptocurrency contender. One particular documentary shows Garzik describing why he thinks UBTC can be a digital asset that engages and unites with the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem. “If I could start with a clean slate what technologies would I include?” Garzik asks an audience during the video. Matthew Roszak says that United Bitcoin will encompass three really important pieces technology, community, and tokenomics by relying on cross-industry innovation.

United Bitcoin: Jeff Garzik's Fork Represents a 'Clean Slate'

One Out of Only Two Miners Controls 70% of the Network’s Hashrate

United Bitcoin: Jeff Garzik's Fork Represents a 'Clean Slate'So far the network has minimal infrastructure and community support. At the time of publication, there are only two miners who are processing UBTC blocks; an unknown entity and the mining pool The mining pool has more than 70 percent of the network’s hashrate. The network’s total hashrate is only 50,811.47 TH/s and block intervals can range from an hour and a half, to occasional sporadic 20-40 minute blocks. The network has an extremely low amount of users as there are only 20 pending transactions right now. Blocks are averaging roughly 20-100 transactions, and most block sizes are well below 1MB even though UBTC has the capacity for 8MB blocks.

UBTC has its own full node wallet client for Linux, Windows, and Macintosh operating systems and the source code is available for review. According to the distribution repository, there will also be a lightweight client release soon. There are three other wallets that support the UBTC protocol. As far as exchanges most of them are based in Asia, and a great majority of them are unknown and exchange very little trade volume besides the exchange Okex. At the moment, according to Coinmarketcap statistics, one UBTC is worth $82 USD.

Required Identity Verification and Claiming Inactive Addresses: United Bitcoin Is the Most Controversial Fork to Date

The most controversial part of the project is the opt-in airdrop feature which basically means a bitcoin holder must give up some form of identification to obtain UBTC. In order to even get started with UBTC, a user must supply a valid email address and a mobile phone number. After this process, the registrant has to have a valid bitcoin address as well to receive the 1:1 distribution. Another contentious issue with UBTC is the Foundation’s claiming of “unused addresses” which means after a period of time inactive addresses will be used for future development. At the moment the team has added a “grace period” which has extended the timeframe so bitcoin holders can claim their UBTC.

Because of the ‘KYC-like’ requirements and the fact that the development team will claim Satoshi Nakamoto’s and the inactive addresses of many whales, makes UBTC one of the most vexed bitcoin forks to date. These two tendentious issues plus the fact that the network has very little infrastructure may have a hard time gaining the crypto-community it hopes to progress.

What do you think about the UBTC project? Would you claim these airdrop tokens knowing you have to tie your identity to the platform? What do you think about the development team claiming inactive addresses? Let us know what you think about this project in the comments below.

Images via Pixabay, United Bitcoin archives, and website.

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