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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Bitcoin Demand Continues to Rise in India as Cash Reserves Run Dry

Bitcoin Demand Continues to Rise in India as Cash Reserves Run Dry

Right now there is significant demand in India for cash as banks and ATMs within the country are currently experiencing a shortage of physical notes. According to regional publications, some regions in India are reporting 90 percent of the local ATMs do not have cash. Sources in the country say the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has moved some of its cash reserves to certain areas within the country due to the recent elections.

Furthermore, the State Bank of India (SBI) has revealed the cash crisis has caused customers to start losing confidence in the system because there is nothing local bank executives can do.

“Nearly 70 percent of our 648 ATMs in the three districts are out of cash. The rest will also become dry in the next few days as we do not have cash to refill the machines. We are helpless from our side,” said the deputy general manager of SBI, Ajoy Kumar Pandit.

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OneCoin Partner Banned in Germany, Threatened With €1.5 Mln Fine

OneCoin Partner Banned in Germany, Threatened With €1.5 Mln Fine

Germany’s Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) has blocked the accounts of a OneCoin satellite firm for operating without a license.

In a statement published last week, the authority confirmed that the bank accounts of IMS International Marketing Services GmbH were to be frozen, “effectively immediately as per the law.”

IMS had engaged in money transfer operations on behalf of various OneCoin-affiliated entities with the aim of gathering and forwarding investor funds.

The company would act as an intermediary for those purchasing OneCoins with fiat currency in Germany, “forwarding it on to third parties, notably those outside Germany, on behalf of OneCoin,” the statement continued.

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Ethereum Price Hits New All-Time High, Ripple Surges Amid New Partnerships

Ethereum Price Hits New All-Time High, Ripple Surges Amid New Partnerships

Ethereum price increased from around $61 to $68 within 24 hours, adding $600 mln to its market cap. On April 27, Ether surpassed its previous all-time high value, breaking $60.15. In the past 24 hours, however, Ether peaked $68, establishing a new all-time high. Although Ether declined by around 10 percent over the past 12 hours, it managed to stabilize at $64.4.

The recent surge in Ether price is suspected to be the effect of the US Securities Exchange Commission's decision to consider the approval of an exchange-traded fund (ETF) for Ether.

On July 15, 2016, the EtherIndex Ether Trust team filed a proposal for an Ether ETF to the SEC. The proposal read:

“Shares are issued only in one or more blocks of Shares called “Baskets” in exchange for Ether. The Trust will issue and redeem the Shares in Baskets only to certain Authorized Participants on an ongoing basis as described in the “Plan of Distribution” section of this Prospectus. On creation, Baskets will be distributed to the Authorized Participants by the Trust in exchange for the delivery to the Trust of the appropriate number of Ether.”

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Bitcoin Price Sets New All-Time High at $1,377: Main Factors

Bitcoin Price Sets New All-Time High at $1,377: Main Factors

Bitcoin price surpassed its previous all-time high to achieve $1,377 across major Bitcoin exchanges in Japan and the US, including Bitstamp and Bitflyer.

Such analysts as BKCM CEO Brian Kelly attribute the recent upward trend of Bitcoin price to the re-examination of the Winklevoss twins’ Bitcoin ETF COIN proposal. While Kelly emphasized that the probability of the US Securities Exchange Commission approving a Bitcoin ETF in the near future is quite low, investors are quite optimistic in regard to the situation.

"The SEC is concerned about how most of the markets [for Bitcoin] has traded outside of the US with no regulatory oversight. As of this point, I don't think the SEC would approve the ETF. What would change my mind is if the ETF or SEC only traded Bitcoin on regulated exchanges."

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Roger Ver Emotional, Not Rational: Charlie Shrem on Bitcoin Hard Fork

Roger Ver Emotional, Not Rational: Charlie Shrem on Bitcoin Hard Fork

An unsustainable monthly offer of about $500,000 by Roger Ver has been identified by the Bitcoin entrepreneur, Charlie Shrem, as a key factor that could be keeping some Chinese Bitcoin miners with Bitcoin Unlimited, even as the likes of Wang Chun's F2Pool, break away to signal SegWit for Bitcoin.

Chinese miners have been caught in the middle of the unfolding Bitcoin block size debate for quite some time. The BU and SegWit debate has created a deadlock that seems to have stalled the community without innovation.

In the latest edition of Double Down, the radio program on sputniknews.com with Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert, Charlie Shrem, the Bitcoin advocate who co-founded the startup Bitinstant in 2011, notes that the debate reflects how emotion could be powerful than rationality.

"As I see in this case, the miners are being rational. Roger has as much money as he wants to spend. He is not being rational. He is being emotional,” says Shrem on air. “He is just saying whatever he wants, doing whatever he wants. He is wasting half a million dollars of his own money per month - those were his words to me directly so I know that it is true. However, these miners run a business and business is everything. It's bad business to support Bitcoin Unlimited at this point and Roger can't prop up all of the miners for so long. The only reason that this certain group of Chinese miners that have 40 percent of the hash rate are still supporting Bitcoin Unlimited is because that is the Asian culture - when you give someone your word, you have to follow it through. But at some point, it becomes economically infeasible."

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Japanese City Seeks Bitcoin Donations to Preserve Historic Park

Japanese City Seeks Bitcoin Donations to Preserve Historic Park

As part of a bid to preserve a historic park, a city in Japan is reportedly raising donations in bitcoin.

The city of Hirosaki, according to a report from national public broadcaster NHK, is collecting funds to maintain more than 2,000 cherry blossom trees, as well as a centuries-old castle.

Supporting the measure is Tokyo-based bitcoin wallet and exchange service Coincheck. According to figures posted on its website, 0.5749 BTC has so far been raised (worth roughly $720 at press time) from 40 contributors.

While small, the amount would no doubt help chip away at the expenses of the park in Hirosaki, as NHK reports the municipality spends hundreds of thousands of dollars per year on upkeep.

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In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. - Albert Einstein #quote


I have learned that to be with those I like is enough. - Walt Whitman #quote


Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. - Thomas Edison #quote


Bitcoin is Outperforming Every Fiat Currency So Far in 2017 - Bitcoinist.com

Bitcoin is Outperforming Every Fiat Currency So Far in 2017 - Bitcoinist.com

Bitcoin price is now up almost 30% since the start of the year as the world’s first decentralized cryptocurrency shakes off regulatory woes and internal politics.

Who needs an ETF when you can just buy BTC? Bitcoin price is up almost 30% since the start of 2017 when the latest bull-run was just warming up.

Since January, the world’s first decentralized cryptocurrency has shrugged at its ETF rejection, Chinese exchange woes, and hard fork fears to once again take the lead over all fiat currencies for the third straight year.

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Bitcoin Price May Surge As Japan Moves to Print Massive Amounts of Cash

Bitcoin Price May Surge As Japan Moves to Print Massive Amounts of Cash

Holger Zschaepitz, the senior editor of the financial desk and market maniac at Welt, shared a chart which demonstrated Japan’s struggling economy and its poorly performing 10-year yields.

As seen in the chart above, for the first time since 2007, Japan’s 10-year yields declined back to zero percent. Zschaepitz noted that the yields could drop to a negative percentage rate at any time in the near future, as the Japanese government continues to print massive amounts of cash.

In conventional finance, a yield is referred to as the income return on an investment usually expressed as an annual percentage rate. Therefore, Japan’s zero percent yield demonstrates a zero percent profit margin or return for its investors.

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If you don't make things happen then things will happen to you. - Robert Collier #quote


YesToBitcoins: A Startup Helping Canadians Pay Their Credit Card Bills with Bitcoin

YesToBitcoins: A Startup Helping Canadians Pay Their Credit Card Bills with Bitcoin

Most major companies don’t accept bitcoin, and even though there are now startups that help bitcoiners spend their coins in popular marketplaces such as Amazon, living on bitcoin is still a huge challenge. Companies such as Uber and Netflix didn’t yet embrace bitcoin and the advantages it brings to the table and, as such, other payment methods are required.

If someone wants to pay the bills using the cryptocurrency, for example, that person is out of luck as in most cases there is no way to do so – even though bitcoin is slowly taking over the world. Bitcoiners are, as such, forced to use centralized, less secure fiat currencies.

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Bitcoin Unlimited Nodes Crash Due to Memory Leaks

Bitcoin Unlimited Nodes Crash Due to Memory Leaks

Almost 600 Bitcoin Unlimited (BU) nodes came down crashing yesterday, falling from around 720 to 180. They have now slightly recovered to 458, with mining nodes apparently unaffected as BU’s hashrate share continues to be at around 41%. Andrew Clifford, President of the Bitcoin Unlimited foundation, publicly stated:

"Unfortunately, running with full blocks and a massively bloated mempool is the hardest conditions for efficient block propagation while allowing flexibility for larger blocks. A point release is being prepared for this. In the meantime please try a size like maxmempool=20 in bitcoin.conf."

A BU node operator publicly reported yesterday he was having problems due to what appeared to be a memory leak. Shortly afterwards, some 400 nodes came down crashing around the same time. Suggesting the network was attacked by exploiting the bug.

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Bitcoin Makes Cherry Blossom: Japanese City Starts Accepting Bitcoin Donations

Bitcoin Makes Cherry Blossom: Japanese City Starts Accepting Bitcoin Donations

Hirosaki, a city in Japan has started accepting Bitcoin donation in a first of its kind initiative by a public institution in the country. This is coming barely a few weeks after about 260,000 stores in parts of Japan started accepting the digital currency as a payment method.

Known for its Aomori Prefecture park which has 2,600 cherry trees and 400-year-old castle, the Hirosaki city starts accepting the Bitcoin donation to raise funds for the preservation of the 50 kinds of cherry trees and repair stone walls of the castle for future generations.

According to the national Japanese TV NHK which featured the news on Thursday, April 20, the park attracts two mln people during blossom season each year. Thus it is necessary to care of the trees which run into hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

The broadcaster cites that city officials chose to collect donations in Bitcoin to encourage donations from overseas because the currency is popular outside Japan and remittance fees are low. It also quotes deputy mayor Noboru Yamamoto as saying that Bitcoin may provide a solution to other Japanese local authorities at a time when most are struggling to raise funds.

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Climate Change As Genocide: Inaction Equals Annihilation

Climate Change As Genocide: Inaction Equals Annihilation

Not since World War II have more human beings been at risk from disease and starvation than at this very moment. On March 10th, Stephen O’Brien, under Secretary-General of the United Nations for humanitarian affairs, informed the Security Council that 20 million people in three African countries ? Nigeria, Somalia, and South Sudan ? as well as in Yemen were likely to die if not provided with emergency food and medical aid. “We are at a critical point in history,” he declared. “Already at the beginning of the year we are facing the largest humanitarian crisis since the creation of the U.N.”  Without coordinated international action, he added, “people will simply starve to death [or] suffer and die from disease.”

Major famines have, of course, occurred before, but never in memory on such a scale in four places simultaneously. According to O’Brien, 7.3 million people are at risk in Yemen, 5.1 million in the Lake Chad area of northeastern Nigeria, 5 million in South Sudan, and 2.9 million in Somalia. In each of these countries, some lethal combination of war, persistent drought, and political instability is causing drastic cuts in essential food and water supplies. Of those 20 million people at risk of death, an estimated 1.4 million are young children.

Despite the potential severity of the crisis, U.N. officials remain confident that many of those at risk can be saved if sufficient food and medical assistance is provided in time and the warring parties allow humanitarian aid workers to reach those in the greatest need. “We have strategic, coordinated, and prioritized plans in every country,” O’Brien said. “With sufficient and timely financial support, humanitarians can still help to prevent the worst-case scenario.”

Full story at http://huff.to/2pe5j3l

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I could see that, if not actually disgruntled, he was far from being gruntled. - P.G. Wodehouse #quote


Climate change could fuel the global rise of terrorism

Climate change could fuel the global rise of terrorism

The world faces an increased risk of terrorism because of climate change.

A warming world will drive famine, drought and natural disasters, creating the sort of societal and economic upheaval that strengthens terrorists’ recruiting efforts, a new report warns.

“As the climate is changing, so too are the conditions within which non-state armed groups such as Boko Haram and ISIS operate,” according to the report commissioned by the German government. “Climate change contributes to creating a fragile environment in which these groups can thrive.”

Climate change creates a number of scenarios in which terrorists can exploit vulnerable populations. In areas plagued by drought and famine, terrorists can wield diminishing natural resources such as water to exert control over people.

Full story at http://nyp.st/2pe0Spb

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From Here To Where? Bitcoin And The Future Of Cryptocurrency

From Here To Where? Bitcoin And The Future Of Cryptocurrency

There’s a number of reasons why cryptocurrencies are so inherently popular. They are safe, anonymous and utterly decentralized. Unlike conventional currency, they are not controlled or regulated by some singular authority, their flow is determined entirely by market demand. They are also nigh impossible to counterfeit, thanks to the paranoidly complicated code system that encrypts each and every transfer, ensuring complete anonymity and utter safety to each and every user. They even make for a genuinely rewarding, if risky, investment endeavor, despite the fact that any financial advisor in their right mind will caution you against them. Therefore, despite the admittedly high stakes that this sort of dealing entails, not to mention the lack of any government agency to lend credence to them, cryptocurrencies can only thrive and multiply.

If I were to tell you of the history of cryptocurrencies, I would have to begin with cryptographer David Chaum, who in the 1980s devised an extraordinarily secure algorithm that allowed for the kind of encryption required in electronic fund transfers. Chaum’s “blinding algorithm” laid the groundwork for the future development of all types of digitalized currency transactions, be it alternative currencies like Bitcoin or just plain old digitalized cash transfers.

“I am personally excited for the future of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology in general. Current innovations such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and others are just the beginning for this technology that can help revamp many industries. There is plenty of opportunity in this space.” - Chalmers Brown, Forbes

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I had always imagined paradise as a kind of library. - Jorge Luis Borges #quote


Educators On A Hot Topic: Global Warming 101

Educators On A Hot Topic: Global Warming 101

Organizers of Saturday's nationwide March for Science have some pretty lofty goals: supporting science "as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity." Promoting "evidence-based policies in the public interest." Oh, and don't forget highlighting "the very real role that science plays in each of our lives and the need to respect and encourage research that gives us insight into the world."

Whoa, that's a lot of exalted ground to cover with one cardboard sign!

But long after those signs and slogans are put away, educators will continue the fun, hard slog of helping students understand key issues, like global warming, the science behind it and what students can do to help.

I reached out to three veteran experts on climate science education — Scott Denning, Frank Niepold and Rebecca Anderson — who'll be working on the issue during and after this weekend's marches. I wanted to hear more about their work and challenges, especially at a time when the head of the EPA has questioned the human role in global warming and President Trump has proposed slashing climate change funding and pulling back many environmental regulations.

Full story at http://n.pr/2pe3umN

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