Eco-friendly bitcoin competitor Chia, Invented

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A bitcoin transaction wastes as much electricity as it takes to power an American home for a week, and legendary coder Bram Cohen wants to fix that. Considering he invented the ubiquitous peer-to-peer file transfer protocol BitTorrent, you should take him seriously. Cohen has just started a new company called Chia Network that will launch a cryptocurrency based on proofs of time and storage rather than bitcoin’s electricity-burning proofs of work. Essentially, Chia will harness cheap and abundant unused storage space on hard drives to verify its blockchain. “The idea…

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Can Blockchain Technology improve digital piracy in Africa?

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The digital content market has rapidly become less regional for piracy not to be prevented, even in parts of Africa where the distribution in such format is maturing. Globally there’s been a shift from traditional media and content industries to new digital media technologies. This has changed the distribution and consumption of creative content with the emergence of new digital platforms like Netflix and iROKOtv. “In Africa, there is a demand for US and European content, and when distribution rights don’t keep up with demands, it fuels piracy,” says G-J…

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Big Tech and Banking Firms Abandon Bitcoin For Their Own Blockchain

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The short history of Bitcoin and the blockchain proves that a second glance can definitely change one’s perception. From being a victim of skepticism and criticism since its debut in 2009, Bitcoin has come a long way. And it hasn’t been alone; it has brought with it the ‘blockchain’ – one of the hot topics of debate among prominent banking institutions. Several major companies from across both the technology and financial industries—including IBM, Intel, and Cisco as well as the London Stock Exchange Group and big-name banks JP Morgan, Wells…

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China gets its first online private bank, courtesy of Tencent

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Chinese internet and social giant Tencent has launched the country’s first private online bank. The bank, which is called WeBank in a clear allusion to its massively popular instant messaging service WeChat, is also China’s first internet-based financial institution. The launch of WeBank sees Tencent steal a march on Alibaba and eight other private investors who were last year given permission to launch five private online banks. As Technode pointed out at the time, the pilot programme is designed to help make funding more accessible to startups and small businesses.…

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Most U.S consumers ‘unlikely’ to purchase or use bitcoin

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A study conducted by the Massachusetts Division of Banks on the bitcoin use found that close to two – thirds of those who responded said they were unlikely to buy or use the virtual currency. The article by Andrew Moran also highlights a study from the U.K. where 71 percent of British consumers don’t want to use bitcoin for their shopping needs. Of course we are very early in the game and the age of the respondent’s matters, those in their late teens and twenties may be more willing to…

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European Court of Justice to Rule If Bitcoin is VATable

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The European Court of Justice will rule if bitcoin transactions are subject to its value-added tax rules (VAT). If that top court decides to impose VAT regulations on member nations with bitcoin businesses, they could suffer an economic setback. Others could miss out on the opportunity to establish business initiatives associated with bitcoin. VAT is one way the EU raises tax revenues. It’s essentially a consumption tax, paid by buyers as part of the purchase price. That case before the Court is C-264/14 Skatteverket v David Hedqvist and it raises the issue:…

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Bitcoin Will Collapse In 2014 says BYRON WIEN

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Blackstone Group vice chairman Byron Wien does not have a lot of faith in Bitcoin. Included on his list of annual “surprise” predictions is the possibility that acceptance of the digital currency collapses this year. “In 2½ years the price of a Bitcoin has increased from $25 to $975,” says Wien. “The supply of bitcoins is fixed at 21 million with 11.5 million in circulation. Bitcoins lack gold’s position as a store of value over time. During the year Bitcoin’s acceptance collapses as investors realize that it cannot be used…

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There Is A ‘Very Surprising’ Connection Between Bitcoin’s Creator And The Alleged Founder Of The Silk Road

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The two most important moments in the history of Bitcoin are its creation, and the founding of illicit goods and services site Silk Road, which created the first ever market for the digital currency. Now, two Israeli mathematicians, Dorit Ron and Adi Shamir of the Weizzman Institute south of Tel Aviv, write in a new paper (first reported on by John Markoff at Bits) that they’ve found a “very surprising connection” between the individual or individuals behind the first and the individual allegedly behind the second. In October, the FBI arrested San…

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Bitcoin Comes Under Senate Spotlight

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Bitcoin is about to get some time in the Capitol Hill spotlight. A pair of Senate committees will hold hearings on the policy issues raised by virtual currencies in the coming weeks, according to Senate aides, a development that comes amid growing attention from government regulators to digital forms of money. Bitcoin, a currency that is essentially a computer code and is not backed by any government, has seen its value surge this year because of  interest from retailers and investors. But government agencies have also stepped up their oversight of…

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