Chinese Mining Pool Lets Miners Weigh In on Bitcoin Core Vs. Bitcoin Classic Support

The Bitcoin block size drama continues, as it has taken yet another interesting turn. Even though F2pool is considering removing their consensus support, the mining pool has also opened up their platform to feedback from individual miners regarding the 2MB block size increase. It is only due diligence to ask the opinion of the people who protect and secure the Bitcoin network every day.
Also read: BitLox: ‘Indestructible’ Hardware Bitcoin Wallet
F2Pool Asks The Miners What They Think

Despite the Bitcoin block size debate going on for quite some time now, hardly anyone has ever considered asking the miners what they think. Nearly all of the focus has been on the developers – from both Bitcoin Core and Bitcoin Classic – as well as the mining pool owners complaining how larger blocks will make their business a lot harder to manage.
All of that is fine and dandy, and those discussions need to take place at some point. But at the same time, a lot of people have lost track of which parties made to the Bitcoin network into what it is today, and those individuals are the miners. Without people mining Bitcoin, the network would become vulnerable, and no transactions would be processed. In fact, the entire ecosystem would grind to a halt.
F2Pool is the very first – and so far only – mining pool to ask the opinion of their miners as to how they feel about the 2MB block size increase. While some people may argue the miners will not be directly affected by a block size increase, the future of Bitcoin and its development is of the utmost importance to them as well.
.@JihanWu Giving individual hashers a voice is admirable, but doing so via false nVersion settings is dangerous; use the coinbase instead.
— Peter Todd (@petertoddbtc) February 25, 2016

Bitcoin community members and developers have commended F2Pool for taking this action while trying to push political agendas at the same time. It seems rather difficult to have a debate on the Bitcoin ecosystem without referring to either Bitcoin Core or Bitcoin Classic software solutions these days.
@TheBlueMatt @JihanWu F2Pool is running core. They are letting miners vote with the block version but they are not running classic.
— Sam Jones (@_samjones) February 25, 2016

Furthermore, it didn’t take long until people started spewing allegations as to how F2Pool is running Bitcoin Core and does not even offer Bitcoin Classic support right now. This is – allegedly – a clear hint as to how they see the future of Bitcoin and its development, which would directly influence the miners’ decision.
Roundtable Agreement Is Useless

While nearly all of the Bitcoin mining pools came to some consensus on the block size debate during a recent Roundtable meeting, it looks like things are starting to unravel fast. Not only is F2Pool threatening to remove their consensus support unless Blockstream and Adan Back come clean, but community members are questioning the legitimacy and usefulness of this agreement.
In the end, a roundtable agreement behind closed doors by a select few individuals holds no validity in the Bitcoin world. Majority consensus cannot be reached by enforcing a particular solution upon the people who make up this community. This story is far from over, and in the end, the community will have the final word, not the “chosen few” who think they can make every decision in this space.
What are your thoughts on F2Pool asking miners’ opinions? Will other pools follow by example? Let us know in the comments below!
Source: Twitter
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Hong Kong to “Explore the Application of Blockchain Technology in the Financial Services Industry”

Blockchain technology has a reaffirmed ally in the Hong Kong government. In the recent 2016 Hong Kong budget speech, Financial Secretary John Tsang spoke on many subjects close to the hearts of the Asian monetary center, including blockchain technology and the recent Mong Kong protest.  While the budget plan makes no explicit mention of Bitcoin, the vast majority of extant “blockchain technology” companies that are domiciled in Hong Kong work with the Bitcoin blockchain. The government plans to set up educational platforms for fintech, as well as a Cyberport Macro Fund with $200 million. Over the next five years, the Hong Kong government will steer investments into 150 fintech startups – and blockchain companies are expressly included. According to the 63rd paragraph of the 2016 HK budget plan:
Government will encourage the industry and relevant organisations to explore the application of “Blockchain” technology in the financial services industry, with a view to developing its potential to reduce suspicious transactions and bring down transaction costs.
Also read: Is China Turning to Bitcoin as the Yuan Devalues?
Hong Kong Leads Chinese Bitcoin Interest
It’s poignant to think of HK’s latest commitment to supporting blockchain technology experimentation as the forefront of good favor from the Chinese government. The outer edges of the Chinese Community Party’s control have more or less been allowed to innovate over the last few decades. Companies in Special Economic Zones (SEZ) benefit from Western customers and Western cultural practices such as capitalism. Companies that succeeded in this mission were applauded for championing “socialism with Chinese characteristics,” while the failures were swept under the rug. Hong Kong is even better positioned currently and historically than these SEZs. Since Hong Kong was returned to the People’s Republic of China, HK has remained a separate-but-interconnected financial hub with looser regulations. Tsang explained the One Country, Two Systems principle as it applies between HK and China:
“We have not only a free and open market, but also efficient and transparent regulatory regimes well aligned with international standards.”
Hong Kong is the historical financial center that sits between the East and the West. Many Bitcoin and blockchain companies have already seen the “favourable” signs and headquartered in Hong Kong – expect more to make the move. The world is finally waking up to the fact that Bitcoin reduces suspicious transactions and transaction fees.
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Court Documents Imply FBI and University in Collusion Against Tor Network

Back in November 2015, the Tor Project accused the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of paying $1 million to Carnegie Mellon University to help reveal users within the network. The FBI were looking for the operators of the Silk Road 2.0 illicit drug website and supposedly used research coming directly from the school. Now recent court documents from the case claim the Feds did use the academic resources to take down the drug ring.
Also read: New UK Cybercrime Report Makes No Mention of Bitcoin
“This attack also sets a troubling precedent: Civil liberties are under attack if law enforcement believes it can circumvent the rules of evidence by outsourcing police work to universities. If academia uses “research” as a stalking horse for privacy invasion, the entire enterprise of security research will fall into disrepute. Legitimate privacy researchers study many online systems, including social networks — If this kind of FBI attack by university proxy is accepted, no one will have meaningful 4th Amendment protections online and everyone is at risk.” — Tor Project Blog, November 11, 2015
Court Denies Motion to Compel Discovery 
The Tor project had claimed that the FBI had paid $1 million for Carnegie Mellon researchers to break anonymization on the network to apprehend the Silk Road 2 members. Tor says the FBI unfortunately “indiscriminately targeted many users at once,” which they believe was a violation of civil rights. The organization does not believe the agents gathered a warrant for this and “CMU’s attack as conducted” broke ethical guidelines. Tor project said the entire procedure sets a horrible precedent where civil liberties are taken for granted. Especially considering university research is being “outsourced” to law enforcement for the monitoring of citizens.
In the latest documents, the public record of Judge Richard A. Jones of the Western District of Washington details the defendant believes FBI did work with the university against the network. The account claims the school helped the FBI with the apprehension of Brian Farrell who called himself ‘DoctorChu’ within Silk Road 2 team operations. Homeland Security gained access to Farrell’s IP address in July of 2014 and eventually led to his January 2nd, 2015 arrest at his residential address. The court papers are a detailed “Motion to Compel Discovery,” by the defendant in which the court denies. The paperwork states:   
“Based upon the submissions of the parties, it is clear to the court the government has provided to the defendant basic information about the technique used by SEI to obtain IP addresses of Tor users, including the defendant. Among other items, the government’s disclosures included information regarding the funding and structure relationship between SEI and DOD, as well as directing the defendant to publicly available materials regarding the Tor network.”  — Silk Road 2 Motion to Compel, Case 2:15-cr-00029-RAJ Document 58 Filed February 23, 2016  
The defendant’s attorneys were looking for a technical analysis of the IP discovery process law enforcement used in the investigation. However, the court does not believe the information is useful to the defense stating, “any other discovery about the methodology or technique used to identify the defendant’s IP address is not material to his defense.” With the latest battle with encryption technology with the corporate giant, Apple and the revelations from Edward Snowden, this type of news is not uncommon this day in age. Surveillance and monitoring have become the norm, and now this protectionism is spreading to our universities. Civil liberty activists and the Tor Project feels because of this example and many before this it shows the world we are living in an age of troubling precedence.
What do you think about the FBI’s use of university research? Let us know in the comments below.
Images courtesy of Pixbay, and Shutterstock
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E-Coin Rebrands To Wirex And Announces Additional Financial Services

Interesting changes are coming for existing E-Coin users, as the popular Bitcoin debit card service has rebranded to Wirex as part of a global personal banking initiative. While not much will change for existing users other than the addition of several new features, Wirex envisions a much broader range of services to bridge the gap between Bitcoin and traditional finance.
Also read: Court Documents Imply FBI and University in Collusion Against Tor Network
E-Coin Is Now Called Wirex

The world of Bitcoin debit cards has seen a major player emerge over the past year, as E-Coin managed to turn a lot of heads in their relatively short existence so far. With over 100,000 customers in over 130 countries around the world, the company quickly become one of the industry leaders as far as Bitcoin debit cards are concerned.
But the company wants to make an even bigger impact in the world of hybrid financial services and bridge the gap between blockchain technology and traditional finance. Rebranding to Wirex is part of that effort, as the new brand will offer additional services to its users as well. The first of those new services will come in the form of a mobile app, which makes managing funds a breeze.
By combining Bitcoin and traditional finance into one globally available mobile app, Wirex is taking a major step towards establishing themselves as a FinTech innovator. Having the option to convert between Bitcoin and fiat currency with one touch will make this Wirex brand attractive to everyone.
Bitcoin debit cards will remain an integral part of the Wirex rebranding although additional functionality will be added.In fact the company will be the first in the digital currency world to offer two-way Bitcoin debit cards, allowing for quick conversion from BTC to fiat and vice versa. Buying Bitcoin through bank transfers and other undisclosed payment payments will be made available come March 2016.
Last but not least, Wirex will bring mobile banking solutions to people in over 130 countries. This type of functionality will be made available within the app itself, and offer remittance options for those people looking to quickly and conveniently send and receive money on the go.
No Action Required For E-Coin Users

Existing E-Coin users do not need to undertake any action, as the change to the new brand will happen automatically. The E-Coin website will redirect visitors to the new Wirex platform come March. Other than that, there will be no notable change for existing platform users, other than the new features which will become available.
Users who are interested in testing the Wirex mobile app – which is currently in beta – can sign up here. Invites are limited in number, though, so they will be handed out on a first-come, first serve basis. The new Wirex Bitcoin debit cards with two-way functionality can be obtained for review purposes as well, by getting in touch with Tim Frost.
What are your thoughts on additional features coming to the rebranded E-Coin? Let us know in the comments below!
Source: Press Release Via Email
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BitTeaser to Share Profits With New Token Program

BitTeaser, the world’s first blockchain-based advertising network, is launching BTSR, a new digital token that will allow holders to share in the platform’s profits. The token is created and hosted by OpenLedger.
Disclaimer: This article was provided by Bitcoin PR Buzz. Bitcoinist is not affiliated with the firms represented by Bitcoin PR Buzz, and is not responsible for their products and/or services.
Share Profits With BitTeaser
BitTeaser, running on the MIT-licensed Graphene blockchain technology, works in a similar manner to Google Adwords. BitTeaser provides advertising space for websites, where teaser-style ads are placed to generate revenue.
According to BitTeaser, the company currently services over 1000 webmasters, and has been seeing monthly growth of 15 to 20 percent. The company believes that, at the its current rate of growth, its network will reach approximately 5000 websites and 2000 advertisers by 2017.
BTSR is marketed as “a very easy way to invest in advertising.” No “technical, financial, or analytical knowledge” is required. Anyone with an OpenLedger account can purchase BTSR and partake in the BitTeaser profit sharing program. These tokens are issued by Denmark crypto exchange CCEDK, created as a followup to the November 2015 OBITS project, which has reportedly been successful so far.
The BTSR profit sharing program will operate in the form of a monthly buyback of BTSR and OBITS. Each month, 70% of BitTeaser’s monthly profits will go into the buybacks, with BTSR holders getting 80% of this share, and OBITS holders receiving the other 20%.
The first round of the BTSR sale recently launched on the token’s website. Prices started at 15 BTS and 0.00015 BTC. Scheduled 3-5 percent price increases are set to occur every 2 to 3 days until March 11, 2016.
BitTeaser suggests that BTSR holders may also reap long term profits from the forces of supply and demand depending on the amount of people who want to buy into the BTSR program. Additionally the company states that bought-back tokens will be burned every month, reducing the total BTSR supply and “allowing a natural increase of value per unit.”
OpenLedger, the host of the BTSR token, is a decentralized crypto exchange platform. This exchange allows users to convert bitcoin to fiat-pegged “SmartCoins,” which can be withdrawn to cash through NanoCard, Paypal, Ripple gateway or money transfer.
For more details on how BTSR will be distributed, or to purchase BTSR with fiat including USD, EUR, Chinese Yuan, as well as cryptocurrencies like BTC, ETH, DASH, LTC, DOGE, and more please go to:
Visit BitTeaser’s website at:
To view a PDF about BitTeaser’s blockchain based advertising services and business model please go to:
1 Million new OBITS will be made available for purchase due to the launch of BTSR. To purchase OBITS with Bitcoin please go to:  style=”font-weight: 400;”> or direct on the OBITS website at
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Philadelphia’s New Bitcoin ATM

PHILADELPHIA, PA February 25, 2016 — The fifth most populated city in America now has a new Bitcoin ATM for residents to purchase the digital currency. Coinsource, the national machine teller network, announced the installment of their product at the Philly Dream Shop at 254 South St. in central Philadelphia.
Also read: Bitcoin in Business: Smart Contracts
Philadelphia Gets a Second Bitcoin ATM
The Philly Dream shop is neighborhood shop that’s graced the historic section of Philadelphia for over a half a decade. The colorful merchant is well-known in the area and the shop gets a lot of foot-traffic. Visitors can find the store at the corner of South Street and S 3rd Street within the streets of Queen Village. The installation is the second Bitcoin ATM located in the city and is very accessible by car, bus or the local metro. This particular Philadelphia ATM will have a late closing time on the weekends with doors closing at 12:30 am.
Coinsource has installed a GenesisCoin version ATM in the Philly’ district. The rates will start at 7% and will be cheaper for those who purchase larger quantities. Coinsource has fourteen ATMs located across the country with eight of them situated in the heart of New York. The company was founded by Travis Gough, Sheffield Clark, Bobby Sharp and started operations in 2015. The team says it offers customers the easiest and fastest way to buy and sell Bitcoin with cash. Managing Partner Sheffield Clark said of the announcement:
“Coinsource is proud to announce our first bitcoin ATM in Philadelphia. In particular, we’re excited to install a low fee bitcoin ATM in the heart of the city, easily available to both locals and commuters alike. We are committed to providing the highest level support to our customers and guarantee always-low fees. All our machines adhere to cutting-edge security standards and provide simple, convenient, instantaneous transfers compatible with any bitcoin mobile wallet.”
The ATM company wants to create a distributed network of ATM’s across the country and this new device in Philadelphia is another addition. The city is vibrant with 7.2 million people held within the metropolitan area and has a substantial community of Bitcoiners and merchants. There are even condos for sale in the region being marketed to Bitcoin buyers. The city has also said to have been ahead of the economic curve by its handful of early digital currency adopters within the city. Coinsource is proud to facilitate the current enthusiasts and newcomers to the world of virtual money as well. The company is also looking for ATM hosts so they can broaden their location base and have machines in every state.
Do you have access to a Bitcoin ATM? Let us know your experience in the comments below.
Images courtesy of Pixbay, and the Coinsource website
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