PR: Adjusts Market Cap & Trade Token PriceBased on the Rise in Ethereum and Demand for Lower EntryPoint New Token Price

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Zug, Switzerland, announces that as a result of community response, the company has decided to take steps to enable greater participation in its highly anticipated ICO. This includes adjusting the entry price per Trade Token to a lower price to allow for broader participation and reflect the rise in Ethereum, which is used for purchase. With the soft cap already achieved during the PRE-ICO, the price reduction lowers the upper level of the fund raise to approximately $135 million. The result of this reduction will be net positive for existing and future Trade Token participants as it will provide existing token holders with a greater amount of additional tokens, and will allow new participants the ability to obtain a larger amount of Trade Tokens. Additionally, the start of the ICO has been revised to December 5th, still concluding on the originally planned date of December 15th, 2017.

On the changes, CEO, Jim Preissler commented, “One of the primary factors that prompted the price reduction was the ongoing rise in the price of Ethereum. We’ve been selling Trade Token based on the price of Ethereum, and the impact of the increase in its value has priced out many of the participants with a desire to get involved in The community now numbers in the thousands, and we felt it was only fair to lower the entry point to allow greater participation, and still allocate a large amount of Trade Tokens to our loyal followers.”

Preissler continued, “As previously announced, we have surpassed our soft cap of $5M in the first few days of PRE-ICO. The modified market cap, as noted, leaves us with plenty of room to execute upon all original initiatives and milestones. We’re anticipating some major announcements over the next 1-2 weeks and as a result, in order to communicate the updates, we felt it was in the best interest of the community to push back the ICO start date to December 5th. This will allow a more uniform ICO sale of which we are gauging tremendous interest, and will be fair to everyone who wants to get involved.”

As a result of the lowered hard cap, current Trade Token holders will have their current allocation multiplied by a factor of 5 and this change will appear in their Members Area no later than close of business on November 22nd. In addition, Liquidity Pool participation will increase by a factor of 5, which has been outlined in the White Paper.

PRE-ICO price will be modified to 1 ETH = 1,000 Trade Tokens for the remaining 3 days of PRE-ICO starting no later than close of business, November 22nd. Any prior purchases will have the allocation multiplied by a factor of 5, so everyone is treated equally on a pro-rata basis. ICO pricing has been modified to one standard price being 1 ETH = 625 Trade Tokens.

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Brain Freeze? Parity Bug Continues With No Easy Solution inSight

Three weeks and counting …

That’s how long it’s been since a mishap by ethereum wallet provider Parity saw $160 million in cryptocurrency code frozen, and still no solution has been pursued to free up the funds. But that’s not to say discussions aren’t ongoing on how to return the cryptocurrency to its rightful owners.

At times heated, an escalating debate is developing on public chat channels about how to best correct the issue, and more notably, how to avoid resetting the history of the entire ethereum blockchain in what amounts to a network-wide software update to do so.

Hosted on GitHub, one public channel that has seen notable activity was created by ethereum’s developer team to discuss proposals for reviving ether stuck in smart contracts. (Lost assets of this type occur with some frequency, such as when users send funds to non-existent wallets.)

But the conversation around Parity is evolving differently, in part due to the scope of the fund loss and the politics inherent in the decision-making.

As occurred after last year’s infamous DAO hack, the incident has helped revive the debate about whether ethereum’s development is too centralized and its blockchain really immutable, meaning all transactions are final and cannot be rearranged to correct human error.

This is largely because, in response to the DAO, new software was written and approved by the network’s stakeholders to effectively rewrite its blockchain history. The move sparked contention and critique, even spawning an alternative blockchain, ethereum classic, now valued at $1.7 billion.

And though the Parity hack is jumpstarting the difficult conversation again, there’s been a change in sentiment regarding whether this is indeed the best way to resolve massive hacks.

As one particularly vocal participant wrote on the recovery channel:

“If Ethereum Foundation needs to do a hard fork every three months to 12 months in order to move funds around, we’re using Bank of Ethereum.”

Not quite another DAO

However, while the political tensions are reminiscent of The DAO, there are some key differences between the two attacks. For one, while the DAO funds were stolen, Parity’s funds have been made inaccessible due to an exploit that forced the wallets to self-destruct.

And although there’s some conspiracy circulating as to whether the Parity hacker was acting maliciously – accidentally deleting the code library in the process of stealing funds – the fact that the affected ETH has not been gathered into a wallet changes the nature of the technical fix.

In particular, it reduces the need for ethereum to reset its blockchain.

As ethereum developer Nick Johnston, responding to infighting on the channel, wrote: “Why do you think recovering lost funds has to require ‘going back in time?’ I once had my bike stolen; it was recovered and returned to me. No time travel was involved.”

Instead, ethereum updates are being proposed that involve changes to existing ethereum improvement protocols (EIPs) that could more broadly protect against cases of frozen ETH. In short, developers are attempting to take a wider-scope approach to problem-solving.

But while developers are focused on introducing changes that could improve the security of the network at large, none of the solutions discussed to date appear to be gathering consensus.

Imperfect options

For example, changes could be made to an existing ethereum improvement protocol, EIP156, that would refund some of the Parity losses by adding a new rule to the software.

Created by ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin in October last year, the EIP is named “Reclaiming of ether in common classes of stuck accounts.” But while the title is promising, developers don’t believe it’s perfectly matched to the Parity problem at hand.

EIP 156 allows funds to be restored providing owners of lost ETH can mathematically prove they are the rightful owner. However, it only works with funds that are stuck in codeless or empty smart contracts and cannot rescue the dead Parity wallets, which still have code associated with them.

And although it may be possible to extend EIP 156 to address the current problem, the fix is currently imperfect.

According to ethereum security lead Martin Holst Swende, Parity refunds could be hardcoded into EIP 156, which would facilitate a one-off return of funds. However, the refund would not be applicable to the ICO tokens that have been impacted by the hack.

And due to a quirk in the code, the wallets, once retrieved, would not be returned to their original owners – instead, they would automatically be in the hands of the “creator” of the tech.

Heralded as one of the more “elegant” solutions discussed on the recovery thread is the idea to tokenize lost assets, akin to Bitfinex’s “hack credit” token which was issued to those who suffered in the $60 million hack last year.

The idea is inspired by EIP 156 itself, which works by creating a token by which owners of lost funds can prove their ownership. This would allow traders to speculate on the release of the funds, and, according to Holst Swende, could have the advantage of allowing those affected by the Parity hack to win back funds before any potential code fix.

Similarly, Holst Swende speculated that perhaps a token of this kind could be used as a voting mechanism to discover whether a core software upgrade is actually desired by the community.

Parity’s proposal

But while it may be down to U.K.-based Parity Technologies to format a proposal regarding the lost funds, its attendance on the channel has been sparse. However, this may not be reflect the firm’s behind-the-scenes work.

In response to inquiries, a representative said that discussions are likely to advance soon.

It’s unclear at this point whether the conversation among other ethereum community members will impact Parity’s proposal, but writing on the channel yesterday, representative Afri Schoedon asked for a summary of the discussion, stating:

“Parity will be discussing proposals this week probably. But I want to be aware of any other proposals.”

According to rumors on the thread, one Parity member is working on a fix that would entail changes to the ethereum virtual machine (EVM) to order the lost wallets to “un-self-destruct.”

Although unconfirmed, the proposal has been a point of contention for Johnston, who told CoinDesk it would “change an important invariant” in the EVM, leading to “unexpected bugs, even in already-deployed contracts.”

However, Afri Schoedon assured that going forward, Parity intends to offer “not one proposal, but multiple,” deferring to the community to decide “what’s acceptable or desired.”

He told CoinDesk: “We will probably add two or three own proposals to the stack.”

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. Interested in offering your expertise or insights to our reporting? Contact us at [email protected].


PR: United Traders Reveals ICO Plans with a Vision to Solvethe Liquidity Problem in the World of Cryptocurrency

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United Traders is all set to launch a token ICO on November 30 to form a combination of platforms that would serve as a place to gather investor’s capital with investing products, a cryptocurrency exchange, and the biggest financial dictionary.

United Traders, a proprietary trading company that engages traders from forty-two countries worldwide, has just announced that their upcoming ICO will get underway on November 30, 2017. Right now, the pre-sale campaign has already started, offering tokens for purchase with up to 30% discount starting from 70 ETH. With 65,000,000 UTT worth 130,000ETH on offer.

“We have been besieged from all sides since the first of the ICO. People try to contact us via social networks, corporate emails, the call sales office and technical support,” said Anatoly Radchenko, the Managing Partner of United Traders. “They keep asking about the terms of purchase. We had over 10.000 registrations even before the launch of the main website. Based upon the public response we will sale about half of the tokens during the Pre-sale.”

United Traders has global plans, some of which they have already implemented:
UT already runs a multimarket platform Aurora (desktop windows) that supports operations at NYSE, NASDAQ, BATS, ARCA, CME, CBOE, CBOT, EUREX, MOEX, SPBEX and Kraken.

Upon the launch, United Traders Exchange (UTEX) can make it to the top of the global cryptocurrency exchanges just based on the current UT traders and clients. Liquidity has become a major concern for the cryptocurrency industry. With solid expertise in algorithm trading and thorough understand of the crypto market, infrastructure United Traders looks all set to solve this problem leveraging the power of special Smart route system. It is designed to enable execution of large orders at the best prices by way of distributing a certain part of orders concurrently among several cryptocurrency exchanges.

An investment platform where anyone can make up a portfolio of various investment ideas has already been launched. One of those ideas is Kvadrat Black, UT algorithmic hedge fund. Investors may already purchase stocks of non-public companies, such as AirBnb, Uber, SpaceX, with crowdfunding opportunities, the UTEX exchange and tokenization making such investments liquid.

Another project within the UT ecosystem is the Mega Dictionary. This Megadictionary is being positioned as a Wikipedia where advertisers can place their ads and authors can make money from ads in their articles. This allows the authors to get the feedback and create the most relevant content, share the most useful knowledge. In the end, UT is going to launch a global community of financial experts. Each meaningful action of the expert will be recorded in the blockchain. This will allow users to know for sure whether a person is an expert in his field or not

Upon the ICO all existing UT projects will integrate the token as an internal currency. All projects are operational with proprietary client base. UT promises that all projects will continue to be developed and go global using funds earned by selling the tokens

Operating since 2009 and established itself as trusted experts in the CIS on the American stock markets, United Traders gained wide recognition in 2011 after winning the Best Private Investor competition organized by the Moscow Stock Exchange/During the competition, the traders’ performance was more than 10.000% per annum. The namesake hedge fund managed by UT was awarded Russian Hedge fund industry awards in 2014 and 2015

To find out more about United Traders, please check out the company’s whitepaper at

To sign-up and receive 30% discount, please visit:

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PR: Vienna Insurance Group and Moirai Announced Partnershipto Experiment with “the Wisdom of Crowds”

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London, UK, Vienna Insurance Group AG (VIG), a leading international insurance group in Central and Eastern Europe with approximately 23,000 employees and Moirai, a decentralized prediction market platform, today announced their cooperation to experiment on improving enterprise risk management (ERM) process through integration of decentralized prediction market mechanisms

The direct connection between VIG’s risk management practices and Moirai’s decentralized infrastructure, will allow companies to effectively test and explore methods of utilizing prediction markets for optimization and scaling of insurance products and business performance.

Many insurance companies are under tremendous pressure in the current financial environment to achieve sufficient return on investments, respond to increased claims and fraudulent activity, and keep attrition rates down, all while addressing increased competition and calls for a more stringent regulatory environment.

Decentralized prediction markets can help insurance companies understand the impact of marketing campaigns and new policy programs on new customer acquisition and predict customer behavior such as attrition, loyalty, and satisfaction levels. Furthermore, more efficient risk and security management can be achieved through prediction of metrics related to claim levels as well as fraud protection activities by understanding what types of fraud will be most prevalent in a future time-frame.

“I strongly believe that this partnership is an important step forward towards advanced blockchain development and its application in the current market. We are glad to have an opportunity to work with one of the biggest international insurance companies in Europe and we think we are on the right path in establishing our product in the market earlier than our competitors. This is really a major competitive edge for us,” said Gary Taylor, Moirai CEO.

Moirai has developed its working prototype before holding its initial coin offering and is expected to deliver the final product in Q1 2018, right after its ICO.

For more information on Moirai prediction market visit and for more information about Vienna Insurance Group AG.

Contact Person: Grace Jones, Business department, Moirai, United Kingdom: [email protected]

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US Customs and Border Patrol Advisors Form Blockchain Research Effort

An advisory committee to the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) is gearing up to research the application of blockchain to the agency’s trade functions, public documents show.

summary report published earlier this week offers details on the group, formed in September by the Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee (COAC). The body, according to the CBP’s website, advises the Secretaries of the U.S. Treasury and the Department of Homeland Security on the commercial operations of the CBP.

Though the working group is focused on emerging technologies in general, the report suggests that blockchain will be a major focus of research moving forward.

Thus far, the advisory panel has identified a number of possible use cases for the technology, with the report explaining:

“The group came up with 14 proposed use cases. They included ideas such as capturing and keeping track of partnering government agencies licenses, permits, certificate of origin reporting and free trade agreement product qualifications, carnets and bonded movement tracking.”

The paper indicates that group is now looking into those use cases and determining how they might be be deployed using blockchain technology.

At this time, it’s unclear whether the CBP advisory group’s work will translate into tangible applications at the agency. That said, recent work within a number of U.S. departments points to the proactive stance on the part of some officials, so it remains to be seen if – and how – the CBP embraces blockchain.

CBP agents image via CBP/Flickr

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].

Bitcoin Unlimited Reveals Gigablock TestnetPerformance


Last October Bitcoin Unlimited (BU) chief scientist Peter Rizun announced the first ever 1GB block was mined on the team’s Gigablock testnet. After processing the very large block, Rizun detailed the team would reveal the results of the testing at the Scaling Bitcoin event at Stanford University. This past weekend Rizun and BU developer Andrew Stone gave the public some insight into their “sustained transaction throughput” trials.

Also read: Bitcoin Cash Markets Remain Resilient As the Network’s Upgrade Approaches

‘Scaling Technology is Already Available to the World’s Human Inhabitants’

Bitcoin Unlimited Reveals Gigablock Testnet PerformanceJust recently, at the Scaling Bitcoin 2017 event in California, BU’s chief scientist Peter Rizun revealed the results of the “Gigablock Testnet.” Rizun explains the motivation for the project is clear, and BU believes “transaction volume on the bitcoin network could be growing exponentially.” However, due to the limit on the number of transactions per block and network fees on the rise, Rizun says the technological solutions to overcome these issues are already here.

“All of this technology is already available to the world’s human inhabitants — We wanted to measure the maximum sustained throughput on standard off-the-shelf client software already out there and see how close we would be to achieving that number,” explains the BU developer.

Gigablock Testnet: ‘2000 Transactions Per Second Sustained’

Peter Rizun
BU chief scientist Peter Rizun.

Following these statements, Rizun reveals the team’s Gigablock testnet has been performing well with 18 nodes.

“As of October 2017, [the Testnet] has 18 nodes. Our standard hardware spec is four core machines with 30 megabit/second internet — 16 GB RAM and a solid state hard drive,” Stone tells the audience. “Typically we are only mining with 4 to 6 of those nodes. The rest are hosting python scripts which are generating a bunch of 2-input 2-output transactions and broadcasting them to the local bitcoind instance.”

The generators can generate about 2000 transactions/second sustained. So for the past two months, we were doing some ramp tests. We plot time on the horizontal axis, and transactions per second on the vertical axis. This makes a ramp. We ran this profile on October 25th. We ran the generators until we got to 500 tx/sec a few hours later, with a ramp.

A Relatively Inexpensive Computer Can Run Gigablock Scaling Today

Rizun also details an interesting side note during the testing. Rizun explains the propagation time did not depend on the network bandwidth for the given nodes. Moreover, the BU chief scientist says if the bits are calculated per second, they are propagated when the next block is sent at 500 kbits/second.

“It’s vastly smaller than the pipes connecting the nodes — We’re limited by the software, not by the size of the pipes connecting to them,” Rizun emphasizes.

Following the presentation, the bitcoin blogger and podcast host Tone Vays asked how he could validate transactions running a full node with gigabyte sized blocks using a five-year-old computer.

“We’re looking forward,” says Andrew Stone responding to Vays question. “We don’t assume you are going to run a 5-year-old computer — We’re not going to use 1-gigabyte blocks tomorrow — The fact is that a relatively inexpensive computer can do it today.”

What do you think about the results of the Gigablock testnet? Let us know in the comments below.

Images via Shutterstock, Bitcoin Unlimited and Peter Rizun.

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Singapore Central Banker: Regulators Have ‘Duty’ to Learn from ICOs

An executive at the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has said that developments around initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrencies can offer lessons for regulators.

Yao Loong Ng, executive director of MAS’ financial markets strategy department, said that, although many are skeptical on the “speculative” use cases of the technology, regulators “have the fiduciary duty to be alert on the potential outcome.”

As reported by Edge Markets, Ng indicated that the “time to market” for ICOs compares favorably with IPOs, which can take nine months to prepare.

He said:

“If the process of writing a white paper for [an] ICO and subsequently listing on an exchange could take a matter of days, then clearly it is something that we can learn from.”

Ng made his comments during a panel discussion at the ASEAN Capital Markets Conference in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday.

The news follow last week’s announcement from Malaysia’s securities regulator that it is working on “relevant regulations and guidelines” for functional use cases of digital assets.

Earlier in August, MAS issued a notice warning investors to be cautious of the potential risks around ICOs and virtual currency-related investment schemes.

MAS 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].

Openbazaar Sees a Variety of New Vendors After PrivacyEnhancements


This past September the cryptocurrency-based decentralized marketplace, Openbazaar, launched its 2.0 platform with a slew of new features. Now a couple of months later, the marketplace seems to be seeing some significant growth as vendors from Darknet markets are starting to flock to the protocol’s benefits.

Also Read: Increased South African Bitcoin Adoption Highlights Need For Taxation Clarity 

Privacy Enhancements Give Openbazaar a Boost

Openbazaar Sees a Variety of New Vendors After Privacy EnhancementsThis week took a tour through the search listings held on the Openbazaar 2.0 platform. The new version has three search engines including OB1, Duo, and Raw Flood which give users more depth while searching for products using Openbazaar. In addition to the improved search features, the platform now utilizes the Tor browser, has a native bitcoin wallet, Shapeshift integration, and offline stores. Just by visiting Openbazaar a user can see that these attributes have increased the amount of vendors and users exponentially, as there are more products to peruse than a just a few months ago.

In fact, the offline stores and Tor integration have also attracted Darknet Market (DNM) vendors as well. These vendors are starting to believe using Tor over Openbazaar helps mask a user’s identity, while the Interplanetary File System (IPFS) protocol keeps stores available 24-7. On the Reddit forum /r/darknetmarkets, many users detail in a long thread that selling illicit products through Openbazaar by using Tor and VPNs is working as intended.

“We had our first sale today and were able to withdraw the money with no issues at all — The system is very smooth and easy to use,” explains a DNM vendor.

Serving Patrons from Both Black and White Markets decided to see how many listings we could find where people were selling illicit goods like cannabis. A search on DUO reveals there are 350 cannabis listings selling the actual flower, oil, and other marijuana accessories. Roughly a third of the cannabis listings are actually selling the drug online for a variety of different prices. There are other narcotics available like Kratom powder, Opium seeds, Molly (MDMA), Psilocybin, and a few designer drug listings as well.

Openbazaar Sees a Variety of New Vendors After Privacy Enhancements
Cannabis products are becoming pretty popular on Openbazaar 2.0.

Openbazaar definitely doesn’t have as many black market listings like centralized DNMs such as Dream, Libertas, and the Wall Street Market. Further, the decentralized market has a lot of legal products for sale too including socks, stickers, comic books, DVDs, cookies, Nintendo games, iPhones, Opendimes, Trezors and more. The sales and transaction history is way more advanced than the previous version, including dispute resolution data as well.

Openbazaar Sees a Variety of New Vendors After Privacy Enhancements
Openbazaar has a wide range of white market products for sale as well.

A Few Software Quirks, But a Whole Lot More Action

Using the platform, noticed every now an then there’s an error running Tor, and the search query for listings fails. Additionally, some users might not like the high fee estimation for the platform’s native wallet, but users can change the fee settings from “priority to economic” if they believe the fees are too much.

Besides a few initial software quirks, there’s a whole lot more action happening on the Openbazaar platform with more products, services, and vendors since our last review of the startup’s 1.0 platform. Additionally, those who enjoy chemical calisthenics might find what they’re looking for using Openbazaar’s improved search feature.

Have you visited Openbazaar since 2.0 was released? What do you think about the decentralized marketplace? What do you think about the platform attracting black market vendors? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Disclaimer: does not endorse nor support this product/service.
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.

Images via Shutterstock, the OB logo, and Openbazaar 2.0.

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Relief and Disbelief: Bitcoin Reacts to Sudden ‘2x’ Suspension

The tweets came fast and furious, almost quicker than the articulation.

After months of anger and debate, a group of businesses and mining firms that use bitcoin’s software to provide services suddenly shuttered an attempt at changing its rules. Scheduled to be introduced in mid-November, the Segwit2x software had emerged as a controversial bogeyman, a cloud of uncertainty over bitcoin’s future, that quickly gave way.

Among those who had for months spoken out against the proposal, and what they perceived as a broken understanding of how protocol development should proceed, euphoria was evident.

“Segwit2x hardfork has been called off! Common sense prevails,” exclaimed litecoin creator Charlie Lee. “Put a fork in it, it’s done,” tweeted author Andreas Antonopoulos.

Developer Akin Fernandez, one of a legion of bloggers who have stood staunchly against the proposal, tweeted succinctly:

“Bitcoin wins.”

Indeed, the strongest voices in the initial reaction were those who had joined a long-simmering protest movement called “NO2X,” which accumulated the support of dozens of companies and users, who displayed their opposition by adding a prefix to their social media names.

The social media behavior, launched in the wake of Segwit2x’s announcement in May, did much to highlight the differing perspectives of the proposal.

An open-source software that requires a diversity of stakeholders to agree to its rules to operate – bitcoin’s major companies, developers and mining pools have each taken a different view of development and how decisions about updates should be made.

Forged in an invite-only meeting, criticisms of Segwit2x came largely from developers, many of whom didn’t necessarily object to the idea larger blocks were needed, but a culture that had sprung up around startups that largely lacked a frame of reference for how network changes had been made, or even the various ways in which changes could be made.

As such, the news could be read as a culmination of a debate that began in 2015, when former bitcoin maintainer Gavin Andresen sought to galvanize interest in a block size change. Since then, several attempts have been made to tweak this aspect of the software.

However, despite its stakeholder support, Segwit2x now joins bitcoin classic, bitcoin unlimited and bitcoin-xt as proposed softwares to fail to gain adoption based on the idea.

Unexpected relief

That said, even many of Segwit2x’s advocates were relieved the agreement was suspended.

“I am glad it is over,” said Guy Corem, a former miner who signed the original Segwit2x agreement in May. “It was the right call.”

Others hinted at the hostility their public support had brought, and the tactics used by supporters of the “NO2X” segment. Members of the group were often criticized for disparaging remarks and attacks made against Segwit2x supporters.

“I guess I can now pay more attention to more fruitful technical pursuits than following the news and fighting trolls online,” said Segwit2x developer Jean-Pierre Rupp.

The acrimonious debate has been almost non-stop on social media channels such as Reddit and Twitter, at the peak leading to alleged death threats.

Due in part to this environment, there was a sense the Segwit2x proposal was not as welcomed by the community as participants had originally expected.

“We’re relieved. The goal of the NYA was to bring the community together and keep the majority of the users on the same chain for at least a little while longer,” Peter Smith, CEO of cryptocurrency software provider Blockchain, wrote in a blog post.

Others argued much the same – that a hard fork to increase the block size makes sense, but only if the agreement achieves support from all corners of the ecosystem.

“We are big fans of increasing the block size, as our customer really get impacted by the fees, but we want to see it done in a responsible way that brings the entire community together, and takes into account more voices,” said founder and CEO Ron Hose.

New solutions

Still, there’s a strong sense that bitcoin still needs to scale, somehow, in the future, as it seeks to accommodate new users.

“We’ll either bring bigger blocks to people [with bitcoin], or we’ll bring the people to bigger blocks [on bitcoin cash],” developer Peter Rizun told CoinDesk.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the news that a block size increase would not be pursued was highly praised by supporters of the Lightning Network, a proposed off-chain microtransaction network that seeks to move bitcoin transactions off the blockchain itself.

“Now that 2x is officially donezo, excited to get back to work building long term solutions like Lightning!” Lightning CEO Elizabeth Stark tweeted.

However, while the news today could position Lightning as a likely solution, the big advances that appear needed to get the network off the ground are now likely to come under scrutiny.

On display at Scaling Bitcoin, a two-day technical conference at Stanford University this weekend, were the challenges yet to be solved with the technology. This includes ensuring privacy in transactions and better understanding the economics of their interactions.

As noted by Hebrew University’s Aviv Zohar, presenting new work on the subject, larger blocks may ultimately be needed to optimize the network.

In this way, speculation is already building that Lightning will not be enough, or that it will take too long to take off. As such, some think that businesses will embrace alternative protocols such as bitcoin cash, an alternative bitcoin with a larger block size, or litecoin, founded in 2012 as a vehicle for faster merchant payments.

“We may start seeing more and more businesses move to bitcoin cash for on-chain transactions, due to the high cost of transacting on bitcoin, which is what Segwi2x was attempting to solve,” Civic CEO and co-founder Vinny Lingham told CoinDesk.

Jake Smith,’s business developer and a long-time supporter of on-chain scaling, said he sold his bitcoin immediately after the news hit. His comments, while brief, showcase how supporters drawn to bitcoin’s possibilities as a peer-to-peer cash have been put off by the news.

“Bitcoin just signed it’s own death warrant, as far as I’m concerned,” Smith added.

Likewise, OpenBazaar lead developer Chris Pacia, whose company moved to distance itself from the proposal last week, said more companies would likely turn to other options.

“[Segwit2x] didn’t really make sense after the bitcoin cash fork,” he said.

Not the last

But while there is temporary relief, there is also new thinking about bitcoin’s future.

The key thing that sets bitcoin apart, to many, is that it’s a decentralized, digital way to move value that no one entity controls. And to some, Segwit2x’s failure simply showcase’s the strength of the technology in defending against influences that could undermine this.

Bitcoin developer Bashco pointed to the long line of attempts to increase the block size or undermine developers via such proposals, implying there will be others down the line.

“They will lick their wounds and regroup,” the developer told CoinDesk.

This view speaks to the idea Segwit2x was best considered as an attempted “takeover” of bitcoin, in that developers behind it wanted to rewrite the cryptocurrency’s rules without getting full agreement from the community.

A controversial move was also the decision by Segwit2x developers to remove code that constituted what has been described as “replay protection,” meaning the fork could have been executed in such a way that user funds could have been at risk if two chains emerged.

Still, some used the news to call for changes to the culture and community, especially those that keep in mind how governments or authorities could use similar methods to corrupt or harm the protocol in the years to come.

“[W]e must continue with the research into forks and chain splits and building tools and defenses because it will almost certainly be tried again,” Bitcoin Core contributor Eric Lombrozo told CoinDesk.

Bitcoin developer Matt Corallo, who had publicly feuded with high-profile members of the Segwit2x group, voiced a similar opinion that sought to appeal to unity.

“Let’s take Segwit2x’s failure as a learning experience – bitcoin’s community is strong, and needs to broadly support any changes to bitcoin’s consensus rules,” he tweeted.

Others were more grandiose, hinting at the expansive narrative that has seemed to shroud what some outside the industry may see as a benign numerical change.

Pseudonymous bitcoin blogger WhalePanda tweeted:

“We won this battle … but they will keep coming to destroy bitcoin. We will not forget.”

Microphone 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. Interested in offering your expertise or insights to our reporting? Contact us at [email protected].

Bitspark Receives Investment From Fortune 500Company

Bitspark Receives Investment From Fortune 500 Company


Hong Kong-based remittance platform Bitspark has announced that it has received investment as part of a partnership with Reinsurance Group of America, Inc (RGAx). RGAx is one of the world’s largest life reinsurance companies, and is on the Fortune 500 list. The two companies will work to provide insurance services underserved markets.

Also Read: Remittance Startup Bitspark Drops Bitcoin Over Network Fees

Reinsurance Group of America Has Provided Investment to Bitspark as Part of a Partnership Between the Companies.

Bitspark Receives Investment From Fortune 500 CompanyIt has been revealed that RGAx has provided investment to Bitspark as part of a partnership between the two companies. The specific terms of the agreement between the companies and the sum of money supplied have not been disclosed. Both companies have emphasized their desire to use blockchain technology to provide remittance services to emerging markets, including cash-based remittance services.

Ceo of RGAx, Dennis Barnes, stated “at RGAx we are actively partnering with our existing clients and new innovators, such as Bitspark, to create business opportunities that improve consumer access to financial services. We believe Bitspark’s technology could help reduce friction for the millions of people who use remittance to support their families and friends abroad.” Bitspark’s CEO, George Harrap, has welcomed the collaboration, stating “we are excited to be working with excellent partners in RGAx. Their presence, in the U.S., Asia Pacific region, and beyond, gives RGAx the global scope and expertise to accelerate Bitspark to the next level.”

Bitspark and RGAx Have Stated That They Seek to Foster Innovation Within the Cash Remittance Payments and Insurance Industries

Bitspark Receives Investment From Fortune 500 CompanyBitspark provides cryptocurrency brokerage services to money transfer operators – including banks, mobile money payment processors, and convenience stores. The company principally operates in emerging markets, offering services to the Nigerian, Pakistani, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Ganan, and the Philippines markets.

Earlier this year, Bitspark revealed that it was working in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme on a trial intended to boost financial inclusion in Tajikistan, with the company hoping to deliver financial services to approximately 85% – 90% of Tajikistan’s unbanked population. The company stated, “the application of new financial technologies like blockchain can assist in increasing the number of people with access to the financial system at less cost, and at a scale necessary to make an impact and ultimately improving economic opportunities for people in Tajikistan and around the world.”

In August, Bitspark announced that it would be switching its services over to the Bitshares blockchain, rather than the bitcoin blockchain – with the company citing the high fees associated with BTC as the catalyst for the transition. The company stated that “the new payment method will be rolled out slowly for specific currency pairs so that Bitspark’s remittance users will have the access to all of the worlds 180+ currencies within the next 12 months.

What are your thoughts on the collaboration between RGAx and Bitspark? Share your opinion in the comments section below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Wikipedia, Bitspark

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