Belarus officially recognizes cryptocurrencies

Belarus has become one of the first countries in Europe to officially recognize cryptocurrencies like SegWit1x (BTC), bringing crypto transactions, mining, and ICOs into the mainstream.

By decree of President Aleksandr Lukashenko, the measures, which will be effective as of three months’ time, are designed as part of a broader effort to make Belarus a destination for cryptocurrency industries.

According to the president’s press office, the move is aimed at creating a better regulatory environment for blockchain businesses in Belarus.

“The main goal of the document is to create an environment for leading IT companies to come to Belarus, open development centers and create products that would be popular in the world,” the agency stated.

The new laws will allow citizens of Belarus to launch ICOs, set up their own cryptocurrency exchanges and even start their own cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies can now be given as legally recognized gifts, as well as for legacies and inheritance, and are recognized as an asset class, rather than a business function.

There will be no obligation for operators or individuals to be based in Belarus to take advantage of the provisions, so long as the firms are registered to do business there. The measures also include tax breaks and a generous regime for cryptocurrency businesses, which has been welcomed by local industries experts.

IT specialist Viktor Prokopenya was supportive of the aims of the government, addressing Parliament last week: “Belarus wants to be an IT capital for the Slavic world like Hong Kong. In times of sanctions and political instability at our borders—this is more urgent than ever.”

Among other provisions, the new law will create a tax exemption period that will run until January 2023, including smart contract development, mining and token issuing, which analysts hope will foster blockchain development and encourage innovation.

The development puts Belarus ahead of the curve in Europe, which is yet to see widespread official recognition for blockchain and cryptocurrency industries. For the most part, cryptocurrency tech remains unregulated, and on legally uncertain ground across the continent.

It remains to be seen whether the move in Belarus will influence others in shaping their policy response.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

Belarus officially recognizes cryptocurrencies

Belarus has become one of the first countries in Europe to officially recognize cryptocurrencies like SegWit1x (BTC), bringing crypto transactions, mining, and ICOs into the mainstream.

By decree of President Aleksandr Lukashenko, the measures, which will be effective as of three months’ time, are designed as part of a broader effort to make Belarus a destination for cryptocurrency industries.

According to the president’s press office, the move is aimed at creating a better regulatory environment for blockchain businesses in Belarus.

“The main goal of the document is to create an environment for leading IT companies to come to Belarus, open development centers and create products that would be popular in the world,” the agency stated.

The new laws will allow citizens of Belarus to launch ICOs, set up their own cryptocurrency exchanges and even start their own cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies can now be given as legally recognized gifts, as well as for legacies and inheritance, and are recognized as an asset class, rather than a business function.

There will be no obligation for operators or individuals to be based in Belarus to take advantage of the provisions, so long as the firms are registered to do business there. The measures also include tax breaks and a generous regime for cryptocurrency businesses, which has been welcomed by local industries experts.

IT specialist Viktor Prokopenya was supportive of the aims of the government, addressing Parliament last week: “Belarus wants to be an IT capital for the Slavic world like Hong Kong. In times of sanctions and political instability at our borders—this is more urgent than ever.”

Among other provisions, the new law will create a tax exemption period that will run until January 2023, including smart contract development, mining and token issuing, which analysts hope will foster blockchain development and encourage innovation.

The development puts Belarus ahead of the curve in Europe, which is yet to see widespread official recognition for blockchain and cryptocurrency industries. For the most part, cryptocurrency tech remains unregulated, and on legally uncertain ground across the continent.

It remains to be seen whether the move in Belarus will influence others in shaping their policy response.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

BitPay jacks up invoice minimum to $100 amid rising BTC fees

BitPay announced on Friday that it has raised the minimum Bitcoin Core (BTC)  transaction amount for eCommerce merchants to $100.

In a blog post, the cryptocurrency payments processor blamed the “record network congestion and record-high [BTC] miner fees,” which now come at an average of more than $30 per transaction, for the hike.

“With current [BTC] network conditions, transactions sent without large miner fees are at high risk of significant payment delays or payment failures. This has meant that BTC payments under $100 are quickly becoming impractical for users to send and for BitPay to process,” BitPay said in a statement.

The change is effective immediately, and should come as a blow to merchants who frequently process transactions below $100. According to BitPay, the BitPay API will automatically return an error message to customers who will attempt to submit an order smaller than $100 in value.

“No payment will be possible,” the company said. “If the customer wishes to pay for an item less than $100, they will need to use an alternative payment method.”

It’s still possible that the invoice minimum will be lowered. According to BitPay, “if the [BTC] network’s capacity increases or miner fees levels go down,” they will “evaluate” their next step.

Fat chance of that happening 

Seeing that the legacy chain’s transaction fees aren’t going down any time soon, there’s a slim chance of that happening. As of Dec. 22, the average transaction fee for BTC is at $55.16, according to BitInfoCharts data. In comparison, the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) transaction fee averages at $0.31.

Unless the legacy chain fixes their problems, more merchants are bound to opt out of accepting BTC for purchases, or like BitPay, raise the minimum invoice amount.

Bitcoin Cash to the rescue 

BitPay is working to add support for a BCH payment option on all Bitpay invoices. This will allow merchants to accept BCH for transactions as little as $1 and not worry about high fees.

Several weeks ago, the Bitcoin payments solutions provider announced that it will start accepting Bitcoin Cash (BCH), which “allows for payments with significantly faster network confirmations and significantly lower miner fee costs.”

“We are also working quickly to add support for a Bitcoin Cash (BCH) payment option on all BitPay invoices. Bitcoin Cash is a modified fork of Bitcoin which will allow your customers to send payments with significantly lower bitcoin miner fees,” according to the company.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

BitPay jacks up invoice minimum to $100 amid rising BTC fees

BitPay announced on Friday that it has raised the minimum Bitcoin Core (BTC)  transaction amount for eCommerce merchants to $100.

In a blog post, the cryptocurrency payments processor blamed the “record network congestion and record-high [BTC] miner fees,” which now come at an average of more than $30 per transaction, for the hike.

“With current [BTC] network conditions, transactions sent without large miner fees are at high risk of significant payment delays or payment failures. This has meant that BTC payments under $100 are quickly becoming impractical for users to send and for BitPay to process,” BitPay said in a statement.

The change is effective immediately, and should come as a blow to merchants who frequently process transactions below $100. According to BitPay, the BitPay API will automatically return an error message to customers who will attempt to submit an order smaller than $100 in value.

“No payment will be possible,” the company said. “If the customer wishes to pay for an item less than $100, they will need to use an alternative payment method.”

It’s still possible that the invoice minimum will be lowered. According to BitPay, “if the [BTC] network’s capacity increases or miner fees levels go down,” they will “evaluate” their next step.

Fat chance of that happening 

Seeing that the legacy chain’s transaction fees aren’t going down any time soon, there’s a slim chance of that happening. As of Dec. 22, the average transaction fee for BTC is at $55.16, according to BitInfoCharts data. In comparison, the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) transaction fee averages at $0.31.

Unless the legacy chain fixes their problems, more merchants are bound to opt out of accepting BTC for purchases, or like BitPay, raise the minimum invoice amount.

Bitcoin Cash to the rescue 

BitPay is working to add support for a BCH payment option on all Bitpay invoices. This will allow merchants to accept BCH for transactions as little as $1 and not worry about high fees.

Several weeks ago, the Bitcoin payments solutions provider announced that it will start accepting Bitcoin Cash (BCH), which “allows for payments with significantly faster network confirmations and significantly lower miner fee costs.”

“We are also working quickly to add support for a Bitcoin Cash (BCH) payment option on all BitPay invoices. Bitcoin Cash is a modified fork of Bitcoin which will allow your customers to send payments with significantly lower bitcoin miner fees,” according to the company.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

nTrust activates Bitcoin Cash functionality

For Canadians who want to buy Bitcoin Cash (BCH), life just got easier.

Canada-based company nTrust recently added BCH capabilities to its Wallet service. This means that users can now buy, send and receive, store, sell, and withdraw BCH along with SegWit Bitcoin (BTC) in their nTrust accounts.

“Since the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) hard fork on August 1, we’ve been working on offering our customers the ability to transact in both bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. We’re happy to say both currencies are now up and running,” nTrust announced on its website.

As part of the rollout, users holding any BTC balance in their nTrust accounts during the August hard fork will be credited the equivalent amount of BCH. nTrust said it automatically deposited BCH into the wallet of those users.

Founded in 2011, nTrust is licensed, registered with and regulated by Canadian independent financial intelligence unit, FINTRAC. Using the company’s wallet services involves an easy sign-up process, followed by a simple Know-Your-Customer procedure. nTrust is Level One rated PCI-DSS compliant, which means that the company’s security, internal policies, and data handling meet or even exceed global standards created by major payment services companies like VISA and MasterCard.

nTrust allows users to deposit funds into their account via bank transfer or Interac, or adding nTrust as a payee. Users are then able to exchange their Canadian dollars to Bitcoin BCH or BTC if they wish with just a couple of clicks.

“I’d been waiting for this to be activated for a while, as a Canadian there are often a lot of hoops to jump through to send your money to an exchange overseas. It’s easy to set up your Canadian bank account and even easy to send money from your TD Canada Trust, BMO, RBC or Scotia accounts through online banking via Interac.  I’ve been buying and moving crypto for a while and this is probably the easiest I’ve been able to go from setup to purchase to sending BCH. If you’re a Canadian, I highly recommend nTrust,” said Bill Beatty, of CoinGeek.com.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

nTrust activates Bitcoin Cash functionality

For Canadians who want to buy Bitcoin Cash (BCH), life just got easier.

Canada-based company nTrust recently added BCH capabilities to its Wallet service. This means that users can now buy, send and receive, store, sell, and withdraw BCH along with SegWit Bitcoin (BTC) in their nTrust accounts.

“Since the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) hard fork on August 1, we’ve been working on offering our customers the ability to transact in both bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. We’re happy to say both currencies are now up and running,” nTrust announced on its website.

As part of the rollout, users holding any BTC balance in their nTrust accounts during the August hard fork will be credited the equivalent amount of BCH. nTrust said it automatically deposited BCH into the wallet of those users.

Founded in 2011, nTrust is licensed, registered with and regulated by Canadian independent financial intelligence unit, FINTRAC. Using the company’s wallet services involves an easy sign-up process, followed by a simple Know-Your-Customer procedure. nTrust is Level One rated PCI-DSS compliant, which means that the company’s security, internal policies, and data handling meet or even exceed global standards created by major payment services companies like VISA and MasterCard.

nTrust allows users to deposit funds into their account via bank transfer or Interac, or adding nTrust as a payee. Users are then able to exchange their Canadian dollars to Bitcoin BCH or BTC if they wish with just a couple of clicks.

“I’d been waiting for this to be activated for a while, as a Canadian there are often a lot of hoops to jump through to send your money to an exchange overseas. It’s easy to set up your Canadian bank account and even easy to send money from your TD Canada Trust, BMO, RBC or Scotia accounts through online banking via Interac.  I’ve been buying and moving crypto for a while and this is probably the easiest I’ve been able to go from setup to purchase to sending BCH. If you’re a Canadian, I highly recommend nTrust,” said Bill Beatty, of CoinGeek.com.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

Legacy chain BTC transaction fees reached a record-breaking $200,000 for one block

If a collapse happens, HODLers will be pitted against each other in an expensive bidding war to get out. 

User Plesk8 posted on Reddit channel r/bitcoin that on a particular block on the legacy chain (BTC), transaction fees exceeded the block reward. As you can see on blockchain.info’s monitoring page, block number 500,439 was mined with 2,335 transactions, 12.5 BTC in rewards, and 13.014 BTC in transaction fees.

BTC Block 500439 contains 13.01 BTC worth of tx fees, exceeding the 12.5 BTC Block reward. That is approx $200k USD in fees per block. from Bitcoin

At the time it was received (2017-12-21 20:17:20), BTC was trading at over $15,000—which means the total transaction fees charged for this particular block was around $200,000—or over $85 per transaction on average. If banks charged this high, people will pissed.

Bilderberg > AXA > Blockstream > BTC. How could this not worry you?

To kill off competition, it is standard practice for giant corporations to buy off smaller companies as soon as they start becoming a threat. The acquisition could then either continue a smaller company’s operations to take over their share of the market, or they could just halt operations entirely and snuff out the competition in a snap.

It’s hard not to wonder how some still manage to keep a straight face and say there’s nothing wrong with this. At this point, most are just wondering what the Core development team’s plans are to correct the legacy chain’s problem, with some mounting evidence that Core may end up having to follow Bitcoin Cash’s footsteps and increase the block size—which they have been contradicting for years.

Unless the legacy chain fixes these problems—and soon, more companies may opt out of using BTC for their transactions. Earlier this month, video gaming platform Steam already ditched BTC due to rising transaction fees. More can follow suit.

Eventually, this can result in a massive selloff and HODLers will be pitted against each other in a bidding war for miner processing. An ugly race to bail their funds out as a result of replace-by-fee (RBF), where users can practically cut in on the transaction queue if they offer more money for transaction fees.

Some argue that Lightning Network is not forcing itself onto anyone, and that people are still “free” to decide on the fees they want to pay for their transactions. Saying people are still “free to choose” how much they want to pay to get their transactions processed, but then putting them behind hundreds of thousands of other people who paid more than they did is a sinister, deceptive use of the word “freedom.” Thank the blockchains this isn’t how hospitals are run!

It’s also the kind of stuff dystopian movies are made of. Speaking of dystopian movies, I was just recently imagining a real-life (as in physical world outside of blockchains) analogy of this in a previous article, where hypothetically our lives are literally decided by RBF. Maybe someone should make this movie happen.

On another note, instead of bashing/trolling other chains like blind fanatics, why aren’t HODLers badgering their dev team to fix the issues in their chain? Shouldn’t that be their priority—you know, like normal, non-lunatic stakeholders?

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

Legacy chain BTC transaction fees reached a record-breaking $200,000 for one block

If a collapse happens, HODLers will be pitted against each other in an expensive bidding war to get out. 

User Plesk8 posted on Reddit channel r/bitcoin that on a particular block on the legacy chain (BTC), transaction fees exceeded the block reward. As you can see on blockchain.info’s monitoring page, block number 500,439 was mined with 2,335 transactions, 12.5 BTC in rewards, and 13.014 BTC in transaction fees.

BTC Block 500439 contains 13.01 BTC worth of tx fees, exceeding the 12.5 BTC Block reward. That is approx $200k USD in fees per block. from Bitcoin

At the time it was received (2017-12-21 20:17:20), BTC was trading at over $15,000—which means the total transaction fees charged for this particular block was around $200,000—or over $85 per transaction on average. If banks charged this high, people will pissed.

Bilderberg > AXA > Blockstream > BTC. How could this not worry you?

To kill off competition, it is standard practice for giant corporations to buy off smaller companies as soon as they start becoming a threat. The acquisition could then either continue a smaller company’s operations to take over their share of the market, or they could just halt operations entirely and snuff out the competition in a snap.

It’s hard not to wonder how some still manage to keep a straight face and say there’s nothing wrong with this. At this point, most are just wondering what the Core development team’s plans are to correct the legacy chain’s problem, with some mounting evidence that Core may end up having to follow Bitcoin Cash’s footsteps and increase the block size—which they have been contradicting for years.

Unless the legacy chain fixes these problems—and soon, more companies may opt out of using BTC for their transactions. Earlier this month, video gaming platform Steam already ditched BTC due to rising transaction fees. More can follow suit.

Eventually, this can result in a massive selloff and HODLers will be pitted against each other in a bidding war for miner processing. An ugly race to bail their funds out as a result of replace-by-fee (RBF), where users can practically cut in on the transaction queue if they offer more money for transaction fees.

Some argue that Lightning Network is not forcing itself onto anyone, and that people are still “free” to decide on the fees they want to pay for their transactions. Saying people are still “free to choose” how much they want to pay to get their transactions processed, but then putting them behind hundreds of thousands of other people who paid more than they did is a sinister, deceptive use of the word “freedom.” Thank the blockchains this isn’t how hospitals are run!

It’s also the kind of stuff dystopian movies are made of. Speaking of dystopian movies, I was just recently imagining a real-life (as in physical world outside of blockchains) analogy of this in a previous article, where hypothetically our lives are literally decided by RBF. Maybe someone should make this movie happen.

On another note, instead of bashing/trolling other chains like blind fanatics, why aren’t HODLers badgering their dev team to fix the issues in their chain? Shouldn’t that be their priority—you know, like normal, non-lunatic stakeholders?

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

Bank of England chief highlights ‘fundamental problems’ with bank-issued cryptocurrencies

Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, has highlighted the “fundamental problems” with the idea of centrally-issued cryptocurrencies.

Carney poured cold water on the suggestion that central banks could adopt cryptocurrencies for consumer use, reflecting on what the bank views as a series of obstacles that would prevent digital currencies from being rolled out further on current models.

Addressing Parliament on Wednesday, Carney presented the bank’s latest thinking on blockchain and cryptocurrencies, including reflections on the recent surge in crypto prices.

While acknowledging the potential for blockchain technology to overhaul the way banks transact and settle between each other, Carney stopped short of an endorsement of the wider use of cryptocurrencies like SegWit1x (BTC).

Chief among the concerns was the risks to financial stability, which Carney suggested would be too significant to make an economy-wide rollout feasible at this stage.

“You create a situation where you can have an instantaneous run. So as soon as there were any concern, people can switch in their account at the Bank of England…There are many talents of the Bank of England, but I think credit allocation across the entire economy would not be a good idea,” Carneys said.

The news comes at a time when central banks worldwide are forming their own approaches to the emerging risks and opportunities of digital currencies. Earlier in September, the Bank for International Settlements said that any decision on central banks issuing their own cryptocurrencies was still too premature.

While the peer-to-peer functionality of the currency could serve as a good analogue for cash in a cashless future world, the Bank said it saw very little advantage beyond preserving the anonymity of cash transactions in the digital age.

Meanwhile, Carney also spoke today in response to the escalating price of BTC, and cryptocurrencies across the board in recent weeks.

Pressed on whether the developments represented a threat to the stability of the global financial system, Carney was nevertheless keen to dismiss concerns.

“At present, we don’t view it as a financial stability issue….it’s significant…but it’s more like an equity-type risk that’s spread fairly widely around the world,” he said.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

Bank of England chief highlights ‘fundamental problems’ with bank-issued cryptocurrencies

Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, has highlighted the “fundamental problems” with the idea of centrally-issued cryptocurrencies.

Carney poured cold water on the suggestion that central banks could adopt cryptocurrencies for consumer use, reflecting on what the bank views as a series of obstacles that would prevent digital currencies from being rolled out further on current models.

Addressing Parliament on Wednesday, Carney presented the bank’s latest thinking on blockchain and cryptocurrencies, including reflections on the recent surge in crypto prices.

While acknowledging the potential for blockchain technology to overhaul the way banks transact and settle between each other, Carney stopped short of an endorsement of the wider use of cryptocurrencies like SegWit1x (BTC).

Chief among the concerns was the risks to financial stability, which Carney suggested would be too significant to make an economy-wide rollout feasible at this stage.

“You create a situation where you can have an instantaneous run. So as soon as there were any concern, people can switch in their account at the Bank of England…There are many talents of the Bank of England, but I think credit allocation across the entire economy would not be a good idea,” Carneys said.

The news comes at a time when central banks worldwide are forming their own approaches to the emerging risks and opportunities of digital currencies. Earlier in September, the Bank for International Settlements said that any decision on central banks issuing their own cryptocurrencies was still too premature.

While the peer-to-peer functionality of the currency could serve as a good analogue for cash in a cashless future world, the Bank said it saw very little advantage beyond preserving the anonymity of cash transactions in the digital age.

Meanwhile, Carney also spoke today in response to the escalating price of BTC, and cryptocurrencies across the board in recent weeks.

Pressed on whether the developments represented a threat to the stability of the global financial system, Carney was nevertheless keen to dismiss concerns.

“At present, we don’t view it as a financial stability issue….it’s significant…but it’s more like an equity-type risk that’s spread fairly widely around the world,” he said.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.