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Vermont Government Forms Working Group to Explore Blockchain Technology 0

Vermont Government Forms Working Group to Explore Blockchain Technology

The second-smallest state in the United States by population has formed a working group consisting of state agencies with a view toward studying blockchain technology. This was announced by Vermont’s attorney general, T.J. Donovan, who disclosed that the blockchain working group would commence work next year in January. The working group — which will seek

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State Farm is Testing Blockchain to Expedite Auto Insurance Claims 0

State Farm is Testing Blockchain to Expedite Auto Insurance Claims

Insurance is one of the golden geese of the blockchain, an industry with so much paperwork, sensitive data, and manual processes that it almost seems obvious that it will eventually adopt blockchain technology to streamline its claims processes, data storage, and even — eventually — its payments. State Farm is among the first notable insurance

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British Lawmaker Proposes Tax and Utility Bill Payments in Bitcoin 0

British Lawmaker Proposes Tax and Utility Bill Payments in Bitcoin

U.K. lawmaker Eddie Hughes has proposed that taxpayers should have the option to pay council tax and utility bills in cryptocurrencies such as BTC. The 50 year-old conservative legislator for the Walsall North constituency said the move would place the country at the forefront of digital currency adoption in Europe. Also read: Gibraltar Exchange Obtains Insurance […]

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Coinbase Might Be Behind Those 856,000 BTC Worth of Transactions 0

Coinbase Might Be Behind Those 856,000 BTC Worth of Transactions

Coinbase Might Be Behind Those 856,000 BTC Worth of Transactions

Last week, it was reported that a Bitcoin whale had moved thousands of bitcoin into different wallet addresses. Between December 1 to December 6, 2018, the whale split 856,000 bitcoin between 107 wallets, sending an equal 8,000 BTC into each wallet.

Speculators have formulated different hypotheses since the monstrous sum was moved. Was it a market whale moving funds to Over-the-Counter (OTC) markets? Could the sender be the Foundation for Economic Education (Fee.org)? (This second theory is highly improbable as the listed address on the organization’s website reveals it has only ever received a total of 2.2 BTC.)

According to a report published on 8BTC, it’s likely the “whale” was merely Coinbase conducting routine maintenance on its infrastructure. 8BTC’s hypothesis is based on a Coinbase announcement that mentioned the exchange was going to make “monitored movements” two days prior to the transactions being made.

U.S digital asset platform Coinbase had announced a scheduled maintenance on November 29, 2018.

“Over the next seven days, Coinbase will be running scheduled maintenance across our platform that may cause movements on all Coinbase-supported blockchains. These are controlled, closely monitored movements that are being performed in order to provide enhanced security and protection for our customers.”

Inactive Address

The commotion surrounding these coin movements began on December 4, 2018, when 66,452 BTC was transferred from a wallet address that had not sent funds since 2014. The funds were then distributed evenly across 100 wallet addresses.

Once that transfer was complete, a new transaction of 66,379 BTC was transferred from another whale address and distributed equally between 101 wallet addresses. A few days after this, another transaction was initiated, followed by another round of distributing the bitcoin into different wallet addresses. This time, 8,000 BTC was transferred into 107 addresses for a total of 856,000 BTC: a total that accounts for over 5 percent of the total bitcoins in circulation.

The report also suggests that the exchange might have used the SegWit “bc1” addresses to chop off the transactional costs while splitting the funds, which is a standard security protocol used to hedge risk and protect funds from a single point of failure.

Other Big Moves

Large sums of ether, ripple and bitcoin cash (BCH) have been moved in the last 30 days, as well, though there is no indication thus far that these transfers are related. In one instance, a day before BCH hard forked on December 5, 2018, a wallet address transferred over 1 million BCH ($300 million) to another address. Six days ago, 100,271 BCH, worth over $14 million, was moved.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Crypto Holiday Guide: Gifts for Every Bitcoiner on Your Shopping List 0

Crypto Holiday Guide: Gifts for Every Bitcoiner on Your Shopping List

Crypto Holiday Guide: Gifts for Every Bitcoiner on Your Shopping List

The holiday season is here. And even if crypto prices are on the coal heap, you can still have fun spreading some holiday bitcoin cheer.

For the bitcoiners in your life, this could mean a crypto-related gift as a token of solidarity. After all, what better way to commiserate with fellow HODLers than decking their holiday halls with bitcoin-themed gifts? What better way to say “we’re in it for the long haul” than with a hardware wallet? Or “I’ve got your back — literally” than with a bitcoin t-shirt?

From wallets to node-hosting hardware to general swag, here’s a list of some of our favorite gifts for bitcoiners of all kinds — from newbies to early adopters, moon shooters to techies, and everyone in between.

Give Bitcoin

Of course, one of the best gifts you can give is bitcoin itself. Maybe take some time and walk a friend through the process of setting up a wallet and then send them their first satoshis.

If you want to wrap up a bitcoin gift, consider putting some funds on an Opendime stick. Opendime is a single-use, disposable bitcoin hardware wallet. This USB wallet functions sort of like a gift card that you can load with bitcoin using your existing wallet — then you pass it on to someone else. The private keys are generated in the wallet itself and are never revealed to anyone, not even to the person who loads the wallet with funds. Using the public key, the recipient of the Opendime can still read how much is in the wallet by inserting the USB into a computer — they just can’t spend the funds until they break the seal and transfer the funds out of the wallet using the hidden private key. Once the seal is broken and the funds are removed, the wallet is rendered inoperable.

These wallets are available for purchase in packs of three. At $40 for a pack, it’s an inexpensive, secure and easy way to give someone bitcoin, be it a large or small amount.

Hardware Wallets

A must-have for any enthusiast who has invested more than pocket change, hardware wallets are a prime item to give, even more so if the recipient is a newcomer.

There are a number of options to choose from, and which wallet works best depends on the individual. The Trezor and Ledger hardware wallets are perhaps the most vetted, most widely recognized and longest-standing options out there. They support bitcoin, most major altcoins and Ethereum tokens built on the ERC-20 technical standard (not natively but in conjunction with ERC-20 compatible wallets like MyEtherWallet), so they can work for investors with diverse holdings.

Ledger’s hardware wallets, the Ledger Blue and Ledger Nano S, cost $200 and $70, respectively, but Ledger is running a December sale on the two items for 30 percent off. Trezor’s line, which includes the Trezor One and Trezor Model T, go for roughly $94 and $204, respectively.

A word of caution: There are some fraudulent vendors out there, so be sure to purchase hardware wallets directly from the company or via an authorized third-party site as recommended by Trezor or Ledger. Never buy one second-hand.

Words, Words, Words

Have a friend or relative who’s new to the space and needs some primers? Luckily for you, there’s plenty of quality literature on the subject.

Few works have made as much of an educational impact as Andreas Antonopoulos’ series of informational texts. His The Internet of Money, Vol. 1 & 2 are formative books for novice and long-standing bitcoin enthusiasts alike. While these two books present a more holistic rundown of the crypto industry — from how a blockchain functions to the ramifications of decentralized currency — his Mastering Bitcoin is a more in-depth technical guide on Bitcoin specifically. Mastering Bitcoin comes in either digital or paperback, for $16 or $22, respectively, The Internet of Money, Vol. 1 & 2 can both be purchased for either $6 or $12, yet again depending on whether the format is digital or paperback.

If you’re looking for a less technical primer on Bitcoin specifically, Saifedean Ammous’ The Bitcoin Standard ($13-18) was released this year, and reviews Bitcoin’s nearly 10-year history, its impact and what bitcoin’s disruptive potential could mean for modern finance.

For other informational primers, the household name For Dummies series, naturally, has a Bitcoin for Dummies ($8.00) and Blockchain for Dummies ($18.00) because nothing will make you feel quite as dumb as your first attempt to figure out what a merkle root is, how transactions are ordered in blocks or how all of this new-wave fintech works anyhow.

Casa Lightning Node

Released in September 2019, the Casa Lightning Node is the joint work of Lightning Ramp and Casa, two crypto development companies who have been channeling their energy into developing more usable and secure Lightning Network products.

The node combines the UI-friendliness of Lightning Ramp’s software with the security strength of Casa’s multisignature private key management. Unlike bootstrapping a Lightning Network node from scratch, the Casa Lightning Node has a low barrier to entry. It comes pre-synced with the Bitcoin blockchain and requires no coding experience to set up, and its dashboard makes managing the node and its related payment channels easy for less tech-savvy users.

Interested? You can purchase a node for $300 on Casa’s website or its OpenBazaar store.

CryptoKaiju

Ever wish you could bring your Crypto Kitties to life? Well, you can’t actually animate the pixelated felines out of their digital confines. But, if you’re looking for a physical alternative to illustrate to your friends and loved ones in real life that you bleed bitcoin, you’ve got at least one other option.

CryptoKaiju is a toy company created by Oliver Carding, the founder of crypto news site CoinJournal. Carding’s newest venture features a line of vinyl, crypto-themed toys, all of which come with their own ERC-721, non-fungible token, which keeps tabs on each toy’s unique set of traits (not unlike their computerized predecessors in Crypto Kitties).

At the time of writing, the company’s $55 flagship Kaiju, playfully named Genesis after Bitcoin’s genesis block, is nearly sold out (the initial rollout being limited to 130 toys). But if they’re sold out by the time you want to pull the trigger, don’t worry! The line will have more Kaiju in the future, and it also offers 6– or 12-month subscription packages that will deliver a new toy each month to its recipient (prices vary from $155-600 depending on the subscription package).

CryptoKaiju’s online shop can be found here.

T-Shirts, Stickers and Other Swag

When in doubt, stick to the basics.

There’s no exhaustive list of online stores that carry Bitcoin-related garb and other various trinkets. All Things Decentral, BitcoinShirts and Bitgear all feature a variety of shirts, sweaters, mugs and other items for you to choose from. Redbubble and Etsy also list swag from a wide range of merchants and independent artists.

Blockstream’s official store has its fair share of Bitcoin regalia too, complete with stickers and earrings (and to make you feel extra cool, you can even pay with Lightning).

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Dogecoin Price Seems Poised to Turn Bullish 0

Dogecoin Price Seems Poised to Turn Bullish

dogecoin cryptocurrency

It has been another rather unruly day for all cryptocurrencies. Further losses for Bitcoin have taken their toll on most of the other currencies and assets on the market as well. In the case of Dogecoin not much has changed, although the altcoin has successfully surpassed the 60 Satoshi level once again. Dogecoin Price Remains […]

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‘Revolutions Don’t Happen Overnight’: Why Mike Novogratz isn’t Giving up on Bitcoin 0

‘Revolutions Don’t Happen Overnight’: Why Mike Novogratz isn’t Giving up on Bitcoin

Bitcoin bull Mike Novogratz — the CEO of cryptocurrency merchant bank Galaxy Digital — is unfazed by the recent bear market, saying bitcoin is “digital gold” that will survive and thrive over the long haul. Novogratz admitted that he lost money during the 2018 slump due to bad market calls, but that doesn’t dampen his long-term

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Bitcoin Moves Lower as Short Positions Continue to Stack Up 0

Bitcoin Moves Lower as Short Positions Continue to Stack Up

Bitcoin’s current instability is shaking investors’ confidence in a potential relief rally, as the short positions against Bitcoin are climbing as long positions continue to drop. Bitcoin moved slightly lower on Tuesday morning, leading the majority of altcoins to also drop. Currently, the overall cryptocurrency market is sitting at just over $107 billion, and one

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