Bitcoin Cash-powered Ayr United secures return to Scottish Championship

Bitcoin Cash (BCH), the only true bitcoin and the world’s only functional cryptocurrency, is set to make its debut at the Scottish Championship, courtesy of Ayr United.

Ayr United secured its return to the Scottish Championship on Saturday, after beating Albion Rovers 2-0 to clinch a dramatic Scottish League One title glory. Their win against Albion Rovers helped them overtake the league’s frontrunner Raith Rovers, who was leading by a point before the weekend Somerset Park football showdown. Raith, for its part, bungled their last assignment after they were reduced to a 0-0 draw against Alloa Athletic.

Keeping ‘abreast’ with changing currency market

Ayr United recently ended its seven-year association with online bookmaker Bodog, with CoinGeek.com taking over the shirt branding of the football club.

Starting next season, Ayr United players will don the shirt bearing the name Bitcoin Cash, the true remaining Bitcoin as envisioned by the Satoshi Nakamoto white paper. This is considered to be a historic event asit’s the league’s first shirt sponsorship deal paid in Bitcoin BCH—the first public blockchain to sponsor a sporting club.

“We were initially approached to see whether we could accept sponsorship payment in BCH. It was a big learning curve for us but we are very happy to be the first club to accept not just payment by BCH but also to promote the cryptocurrency to a wider audience,” Ayr United’s Commercial Director Graeme Miller said in a statement.

The newly crowned Scottish League One champions has already unveiled their new kit for next season, much to the delight of their fans. Needless to say, the ever-controversial launch of the new kits—featuring models in body paint—gained media attention worldwide.

For The Scottish Sun, the new Ayr United kit keeps fans “abreast” with the changing currency market, especially since the Honest Men have become the first Scottish side to be paid in Bitcoin BCH.The news was also featured in other UK-based websites such as The Daily Mail UKThe Daily Record UK and The Sun.

European news websites like Spor24AreanapoliSky Sports ItalySportsnieuws.nlBahisMedyaCanal3.mdItaly’s Premium Sport HD, and SportoweFakty all featured Ayr United’s newest kit.

HongKong-based news website Apple Daily, which has a large Chinese audience, also carried the Bitcoin BCH sponsorship news, noting that the Scottish Football Club made history (again) for tapping a male model to don the new kits for the first time.

Chinese websites Yahoo! Sports HongKong and World Gaming Information also featured Ayr’s kit launch. Other Asian news outlets that carried out the news included Bongda.comNetnews.Vn and Bamoi.com in Vietnam; as well as Liputan6.comWarkotalive.comSkanaa, and Viva Newstainment in Indonesia.

The news about the new Ayr United kit also reached Mexico through the news websites El Dictamen and Celebrity Rave, while Americans got a first look at the kit through news websites Football News HoundCapital Bay, and Cetusnews.com.

Long-time BCH advocate and CoinGeek.com owner Calvin Ayre hopes that the sponsorship of Ayr United with the use of BCH will encourage merchants to use the cryptocurrency as global payments system.

“I think it’s great for BCH that such boundaries and promotional ideas are being used to show merchants and consumers that BCH really is the only true bitcoin,” Ayre said.

Bitcoin BCH, with its very low transaction fees, is the best choice for both merchants and customers in a Bitcoin commerce (bCommerce) future.

At the inaugural CoinGeek.com Conference, which will take place at the Four Seasons Hotel in Hong Kong on May 18, the who’s who of the cryptocurrency community will discuss how merchants, including gambling operators, can harness the potential of Bitcoin Cash as a global payments system.

Find out how you can integrate blockchain into your business by registering for the CoinGeek.com conference today. Registration for the CoinGeek Conference is open with a 50% discount for those paying in BCH, but credit card payments are also welcome.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

3 cryptocurrency exchanges fall in Venezuela’s ‘Operation Paper Hands’

The government of Venezuela has shut down three cryptocurrency exchanges as part of its “Operation Paper Hands,” local media reported.

Last week, the government’s Operation Paper Hands started its clampdown on the so-called illegal activities of cryptocurrency exchanges and financial institutions, resulting in the closure of three exchanges—Intersach, Rapidcambio, and AirTM. In a statement, Venezuelan Prosecutor General Tarek William Saab said last week’s crackdown has been the government’s biggest undertaking in its fight against illegal cryptocurrency-related activities.

According to reports, the exercise led to the arrest of 112 people, 107 of whom were brought to court. During the operation, 1,382 bank accounts containing more than 711,967 bolivars ($10.6 million) were frozen. Saab warned more action would be taken against any person wishing to engage in illegal activities. At the moment, the prosecutor general said requests were already lodged to block 247 more bank accounts, issue 40 new arrest warrants, and conduct 104 raids on suspected institutions.

RapidCambio has reportedly shuttered its shop following the clampdown, while the other two still have active accounts in other countries. Saab said the three exchanges’ platforms were registered out of Venezuela, and that they also used international parent bank accounts in the United States, Chile, Ecuador, and Panama.

In response to the clampdown, RapidCambio published a statement on its website saying that they have always demonstrated responsibility, honesty and seriousness. The company called the ongoing government action as “unlawful attacks,” saying their price operations have always been in line with the set laws of supply and demand.

Despite the crackdown, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro certified 16 cryptocurrencies exchanges in the country. He also announced the end of the pre-sale for Petro which started in February, claiming that the token sale has raised $3.3 billion. The 16 exchanges include Criptoexchainge, Criptocapital, Asesoria Financial CA, Italcambio, Amberes Coin, Cave Blockchainge, Valoratta Casa de Bolsa, Coinsecure.ve, Critiaechainge, Criptomundo Casa de Intercambio CA, Financieras 1444 CA and Criptoactivo Criptoes.

The 16 exchanges, according to state media Correo del Orinoco, were certified to facilitate Petro transactions in the international market. There was no confirmation if the “certified” exchanges have already agreed to list the state-backed cryptocurrency.

India-based Coinsecure was among the list of government-approved exchanges. In an interview with Business Standard, Coinsecure CEO Mohit Kalra said, “Venezuela wanted to add Petro as cryptocurrency on Coinsecure, so they can trade Petro against bitcoin [BTC] and the rupee.”

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

Beware of misleading software: Crypto criminals are stepping up their game

Some are just annoying, but some can inflict real damage.

Recently, an application on Google Play has been crossing quite a few users. The software, called “Bitcoin Cash TESTNET,” has nothing to do with Bitcoin Cash. It was also previously named “Bitcoin + Lightning Wallet,” and its recent name change is likely nothing but a deliberate attempt to troll users.

While this may be annoying, there are actually far worse applications currently lurking around in the space. Last year, users lost over $3.2 million to a bitcoin gold (BTG) wallet scam after inputting their private keys into the fake wallet, expecting to receive their BTG shortly after the October 25 fork. Several other scams did the same thing and it has been known that such cons are rampant particularly around the time of blockchain forks.

Phishing scam has also proven damaging, with fraudsters simply switching certain letters with another character that looks similar to resemble legitimate websites as closely as possible. Crypto criminals have also been progressing, going so far as to discreetly hack legitimate websites and replacing official wallet addresses and payment links to lead to their own wallets. This attack has been known to target ICO’s, and became widely infamous after CoinDash fell victim to it.

Some were even able to publish entire mobile applications on Google Play and the App Store dedicated to hoodwinking cryptocurrency enthusiasts, with several of them mimicking Poloniex.

According to a release by RiskIQ in January this year, an analysis of 18,408 apps across 20 app stores has uncovered 661 malicious cryptocurrency applications that were floating around official app stores, with 272 of them on Google Play. The applications steal money and personal data. Fabian Libeau, EMEA VP of RiskIQ, issued a warning to investors.

“We are seeing threat actors around the world exploiting what is already a hostile currency in a lawless digital world. Before handing over any cash or personal data, investors should carry out thorough research into the exchange and wallet apps they intend to use. By checking the developer’s name, user reviews and the number of app downloads, investors can measure the validity of an app and be more confident in their choice,” said Libeau.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

UNICEF turns mining malware into good—donate computing power instead of cash

In a funny twist, the mechanism commonly used as a mining malware is now being used for a good cause: UNICEF now allows you to donate some of your computing power instead of cash.

Since last year, several organizations—including government websites—have been plagued by a series of pestilent attacks based on several hacking tools leaked from the NSA. One of these tools gave birth to the CoinHive, a malware that had gained notoriety after discreetly being slipped into users’ computers through some usability plug-ins and secretly mined Monero for the hackers.

Now, Unicef is using a similar mechanism in order to generate funds without requiring donors to shell out their own cash. According to ZDNet, UNICEF’s donation platform is powered by the same Monero mining program. But unlike the Monero miner, the website—named theHopePage.org, clearly asks users for confirmation before using anybody’s system to mine for UNICEF Australia. Users can also adjust how much computing power they are willing to donate, and can simply keep the browser tab open to keep contributing. This gives people an opportunity to “give hope, just by being here,” as their website says.

“The longer you stay on the page and the more processor power you donate, the more algorithms get solved, which earns cryptocurrency,” they wrote in their website. “Mining is perfectly safe for your computer. If you’re ever worried about power consumption, turn down the amount of processing power you’re donating.”

Upon agreeing, the website then proceeds to use the viewer’s computing power to mine cryptocurrencies, the proceeds of which go directly to the fund, the organizations says.

“The cryptocurrency is automatically donated to UNICEF Australia and is turned into real funds that reach children through life-saving supplies like safe water, therapeutic food and vaccines. Turn the Hopepage into your homepage to give every day.”

As of last check, over 1,600 people were donating to the website.

This is not the first time UNICEF turned to cryptocurrency mining to solicit computing power donations. In February, they also appealed to online gamers, who are likely to have powerful graphics cards perfect for crypto mining. The website, Game Chaingers, would allow gamers to donate their computing power to help Syrian children, although attention to the website has died down since its launch.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

India’s Koinex rolls out zero-fee, crypto-to-crypto trading pairs

As the cryptocurrency world continues to expand at a rapid pace, it is now the turn of Indian cryptocurrency exchange Koinex to introduce cryptocurrency trading pairs. Last week, Koinex announced that it would be introducing no less than 23 crypto-to-crypto trading pairs with no fees—an added incentive for new cryptocurrency investors who are hoping to enter the market in a big way.

Koinex was not the only exchange to introduce these pairs. Last week, another leading Indian cryptocurrency, Zebpay, also announced that it would be launching crypto-to-crypto trading pairs, but they only decided to launch one pair.

In its announcement, Koinex was quite bullish, boasting that it was the first exchange in India to launch such a large number of trading pairs.

“We are going live with not just one or two crypto-crypto pairs; we are launching a total of 15 token pairs, all at the same time. This is the largest crypto-crypto pair offering by any Indian exchange and to add to this, the trading fees will be zero,” Koinex wrote in a blog post.

Koinex added more cryptocurrency trading pairs on Saturday, and also confirmed the seller fee of 0.15% for the Indian rupee (INR) market as well as a flat buyer’s fee of 0.15%. Payments, however, are only accepted via the Netbanking gateway. According to Koinex, “all other payment methods are discontinued… All INR withdrawals are temporarily halted.”

Koinex currently trades 19 coins against the INR, with a market turnover of $5.5 million daily—far below the massive turnover of exchange giants such as Binance, which reportedly moves around $1.7 billion a day. The launch of the new crypto-to-crypto trading pairs is expected to raise domestic investor interest substantially. According to the announcement there will be nine bitcoin trading pairs, six Ethereum trading pairs and another eight Ripple trading pairs. Koinex is claiming that it is the first exchange to offer XRP-based trading pairs.

Trading pairs for the BTC market include Bitcoin Cash (BCH/BTC), Ethereum (ETH/BTC), Litecoin (LTC/BTC), TRON (TRX/BTC), Ripple (XRP/BTC), Omisego (OMG/BTC), EOS (EOS/BTC), Nucleus Vision (NCASH/BTC), and Request (REQ/BTC).”

For the Ethereum market, Koinex is offering trading pairs for BCH, TRX, XRP, OMG EOS, and NCASH, alongside BTC. For the XRP market, customers can trade BTC as well as LTC, TRX, EOS, OMG, REQ, NCASH, AE (aeternity), and GNT (golem). This is quite an interesting variety of pairs and should see a sharp uptake of interest in the Koinex exchange.

The launch of Koinex and Zebpay’s crypto-to-crypto trading pairs comes on the heels of the Reserve Bank of India’s announcement that local banks were forbidden from dealing with any entity that settles of exchanges cryptocurrency.

In response to the RBI order, Koinex said it has been looking for alternative solutions, like “introducing UPI payments or instant withdrawals or new tokens for trading.”

“As you know, the crypto-market has been in a disarray of sorts since the start of the year due to the ambiguous stand on crypto-assets by the government and situations further took a downward spiral with the RBI directive reprimanding banks from partnering with crypto-entities,” according to Koinex. “So the need of the hour in this uncertain market was a safer alternate trading format, like crypto-to-crypto.”

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

Alcohol company Madison Group pours $60M into crypto miner Diginex

The cryptocurrency and blockchain space appears to be getting crowded of late with several multinational companies and other large entities looking to pounce on what is proving to be a considerable investment opportunity, even amid the negative press that the market has had over the last few months.

The latest news in the acquisitions and sales market comes from Hong Kong. Diginex, a multinational crypto-asset investment services firm, announced that it has sold 51% of the company’s stake in the cryptocurrency and mining field to another Hong Kong-based firm, Madison Group Holdings.

Diginex is heavily invested in blockchain or distributed ledger technology (DLT), and it is slightly curious that they should sell their stake to a company who is better known for the retail of alcoholic beverages. The price for a 51% stake in the company was around $60 million. Undoubtedly Madison Group see a considerable potential in the cryptocurrency mining business, which has taken the world by storm of late. In fact only last week, multinational companies Samsung and AMD have reported record turnover and profits from their mining-related operations, largely through the sale of semiconductor chips.

The Memorandum of Agreement signed by the two companies listed other synergies, including the leverage of Diginex’s proprietary platform DigiAssets, which can also be used for cryptocurrency owners to purchase wines of high value as well as other assets. Madison’s investment will allow Diginex to continue rolling out their GPU mining operations in Western Europe in partnership with several hardware suppliers, as well as power and security providers—with a goal of building efficient mining and high-performance computing (HPC) data centers for cryptocurrencies.

In a statement, Diginex CEO Miles Pelham said Madison Group’s cash injection will allow the company “to expedite our steps towards becoming the global provider of Distributed Ledger Technologies. We will continue to build out our mining operations in Sweden and Switzerland, but also focus on helping corporates and governments across the world to implement transformative DLT applications.”

Privately-owned Diginex described itself as a full services provider for distributed ledger technologies, operating out of Hong Kong, Switzerland, Germany, and Japan. The company offers all DLT ecosystem services with mining and HPC operations in Asia, Switzerland and Sweden, as well as blockchain consulting, ICO advisory, smart contract design and provision together with cryptocurrency payments and crypto-asset investment services.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

Bitcoin Cash holds on to gains, sets sights on $1,500

The cryptocurrency market had a rather muted performance over the weekend, with most of the major coins staying at their price levels achieved over last week although there were some notable exceptions. BTC has been stuck between the $9,100 and $9,400 levels with very little movement in this tight trading range. However, it appears that the coin is poised for some upward movement in the next few days as new money comes into the market.

Bitcoin Cash held on to its levels very well enough and was trading at around $1,400 at press time and was looking to soar to the $1,500 level again with some upward momentum. The currency has performed very well, holding on to its gains over the past week. Another currency that appeared to be consolidating is Ethereum, which reached the $680 mark on Monday morning and was looking to achieve the $700 barrier yet again with the possibility of posting strong gains thereafter. Ethereum Classic was also performing well at press time and was looking to breach the $22 mark soon.

However, the strongest gainers over the past 48 hours were the coins with the smaller market caps. EOS was undoubtedly the star performer with an incredible 50% gain over this period rising to $22 at some point—a 100% gain over the week although it was retracing slightly to around $19 on Monday morning. NEO also had a considerable bull run on Sunday, rising by about 25% to exceed the $90 region although it fell back slightly by around 5% on Monday morning. Still, this was a considerable improvement over the last weeks, when the currency appeared staid and did not move that much.

Ripple was slightly disappointing in that it remained stuck between the $0.84 and $0.86 level notwithstanding all the amount of good news that continued dominating the markets. The fact that XRP continues to be involved in new agreements between banks should undoubtedly have a positive effect on its price sooner or later. Dash also appeared slightly staid, but is well supported at the $480-490 level whilst Litecoin remains stuck at the $150 mark with not much sign of any real movement downwards or upwards. Stellar Lumens also consolidated its strong gains over the past week and remains at $0.45, although a push towards the $0.50 mark is not to be unexpected.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

Statement: CoinGeek will support Bitcoin.com in lawsuit over the real Bitcoin

CoinGeek welcomes this opportunity to subject the merits of both BTC and Bitcoin Cash BCH to scrutiny in court.

Recently, a group of BTC devotees launched a website in hopes of gathering a crowd as well as some funds to aid their effort in filing a lawsuit against the website, Bitcoin.com. The group, which also has a dedicated Telegram group started by Twitter user @MoneyTrigz, alleges that Bitcoin.com’s user interface confuses buyers by using the same logo colour for both BTC and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). They add that referring to BTC as Bitcoin Core was enough to mislead BTC buyers into mistakenly purchasing BCH.

The group is now soliciting donations for their cause through their website bitcoincomlawsuit.info. Whether this complaint or its proponents have any viable claims is yet to be seen.

CoinGeek welcomes this as an opportunity to challenge the cultist dogma and subject to scrutiny the merits of BCH against that of BTC in court. Below is CoinGeek’s official statement about the matter.

A statement from Calvin Ayre, CoinGeek.com Founder

CoinGeek.com will support and join any lawsuit related to what is the real Bitcoin.  We look forward to a court reviewing the original white paper and the evolution of the two major branches that are on the chain that originated with the bitcoin genesis block.

It is clear to anyone who knows the history and technology that Bitcoin BTC is inaccurately using the Bitcoin name and has forked to Segwit technology and is no longer bitcoin or even a cryptocurrency.   

Bitcoin BCH forked back to being bitcoin after the Segwit fork and is staying true to the original white paper. CoinGeek has been studying how we could get this issue before a court and would welcome the opportunity to put our substantial resources into getting a judge to review the science and make a decision. We are confident there is only one outcome to this and that is that BTC has stolen the Bitcoin name for a Segwit technology alt coin. 

Bitcoin.com has every right to also have its own opinion in this area and we support this 100 percent also.  Nobody is in a better position to know bitcoin when they see it than bitcoin.com and Roger Ver who have been there since the very start.”

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

CoinGeek Conference highlights why Bitcoin Cash is cash

For cryptocurrencies to be successful over the long-term, they need to be versatile and fungible. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) has already proven to be both, and will set the bar for how the eCommerce industry accepts digital currency going forward. For anyone in the eCommerce or retail space, the inaugural CoinGeek conference will be the definitive spot to learn why BCH has become so important, as well as to network with other professionals.

Dr. Craig Wright, chief scientist of nChain, one of the influential tech groups leading the development of Bitcoin Cash, expressed it best when he said, “Bitcoin is powerful right now.” The digital currency is quickly becoming a main alternative payment option in the eCommerce realm as more retailers embrace it every day. Wright will be one of many cryptocurrency leaders present for the one-day conference.

Joannes Vermorel, another leading blockchain authority and founder of the blockchain supply chain software company Lokad, will also participate in the conference. As an early adopter of BCH payments, Vermorel will be on hand to discuss how businesses can overcome hurdles with BCH.

Lorien Gamaroff, who founded the popular BCH wallet Centbee, once said, “What I like about BCH is that it’s reminding us that this was always meant to be cash. And cash needs to be able to be spent.”  The CoinGeek Conference is the perfect spot to learn how easy it is to exchange BCH for cash and accept it in any eCommerce environment. Join Gamaroff and the many merchants, visionaries and investors for the one-day event.

The inaugural CoinGeek Conference will be held on May 18 at the Four Seasons hotel in Hong Kong. Registration starts at 8 a.m., followed by a series of seminars on a wide range of important cryptocurrency topics that will help the community to grow and receive greater attention. The presentations are all being designed by the best names in the crypto space, and no single event can provide the wealth of knowledge and vision like the CoinGeek conference will.

Bitcoin.com CEO Roger Ver will be on hand, discussing BCH adoption around the globe. As he so aptly put it in a recent discussion, “BCH is building all the tools to make it useful as cash for the entire world.  And that’s why we are seeing merchant uptake around the world.”

Apart from the impact that BCH has, and will have, on the eCommerce industry, it is part of a movement that has brought about the innovation surrounding FinTech 2.0. Going forward, merchants are going to be the drivers of the entire ecosystem. As BCH continues to attract greater interest, eCommerce could very well soon be called “bCommerce” (Bitcoin Commerce).

Following the conference, there will be an after-party hosted by CoinGeek’s founder and cryptocurrency entrepreneur Calvin Ayre. Only a few weeks remain before the event, and space is limited. Don’t wait to make your reservation—pay today with BCH and get 50% the regular entry price.

Find out how you can integrate blockchain into your business by registering for the CoinGeek.com conference today.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

What’s the second Bitcoin Cash capacity upgrade all about?

Another major upgrade for Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is scheduled to take place on May 15. This update is a substantial step forward for the cryptocurrency, and will introduce features that are designed to make the BCH blockchain more robust and help the network process more transactions than BTC.

The hard fork was first announced in November. It will raise BCH’s block size from 8MB to 32MB, greatly increasing the number of transactions allowable per block. It will also increase the “OP_RETURN” field from 80 to 220 bytes, allowing users to store data on the blockchain. This function paves way for use cases like time-stamping, rights management or asset creation.

In addition to introducing new features, some old ones will be making a comeback. Some types of smart contracts, removed previously over concerns that they could allow the blockchain to be hacked, will be reintroduced. Steve Shadders, a developer for nChain, said in a blog post, “Essentially out of an abundance of caution and lack of time to fully explore and fix the edge cases that needed to be addressed, the decision was taken to simply disable any opcodes around which there were doubts or even hints of doubts.”

It would appear that BTC developer Johnson Lau recommended the same types of smart contracts for the BTC network in February. BCH has now beaten BTC to the punch, and the inclusion of these features will make BCH much more versatile than BTC. BCH will only introduce a few of the smart contract types that were previously removed, as some still have the potential to be a weak link in the blockchain.

These are just a few items in the list of changes included in the network upgrade, which have been accepted by virtually the entire BCH community, making it an almost completely agreed upon upgrade. But the May capacity upgrade is only one of several that have potentially been slated for this year. The community will see another one in November that would introduce even more features.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

Dubai police use AI to nab group behind $1.9M crypto heist

Ten members of a gang have been arrested in Dubai, accused of carrying out a cryptocurrency heist that resulted in the theft of $1.9 million worth of BTC. Their millionaire lifestyle didn’t last long, however, as the crimes are said to have taken place on Wednesday, and by Saturday, the entire gang had been rounded up, Gulf News reported.

The idea probably looked better on paper than it did in practice. According to the news outlet, the gang took over an empty office under the pretense of purchasing it for their new office space. It then set their nefarious plan in action, seeking out potential victims in a market in Al Muraqqabat using the ruse that it was interested in buying cryptocurrency. It didn’t take long to find two candidates, both brothers, who agreed to meet the “buyers” at their office.

When the brothers showed up, they were assaulted and robbed at gunpoint. Of the 10 members of the gang, six were reportedly waiting at the office and three more were keeping watch outside. The last was probably getting the Cristal champagne ready.

The brothers were tied up and left inside the office, but managed to free themselves. They went to the police the same day, and were able to recognize the group’s leader. He was found in a neighboring emirate, confessed and taken into custody. With 48 hours, all 10 suspects were found in four different emirates and arrested.

According to the Assistant Commander-in-Chief for Criminal Investigation Affairs, Major General Khalil Ebrahim Al Mansouri, the police and used both smart programs and artificial intelligence to track and locate the members of the gang.

There have been several high-profile cryptocurrency thefts already this year. In January, a Russian crypto blogger got a little carried away, boasting of he had amassed a fortune from digital currency. He was later assaulted at his home and reportedly had about $380 million worth of rubles stolen, according to reports.

In another crypto caper, a Malaysian man was reportedly attacked this month in Singapore and robbed of about $365,000 in what turned out to be a bogus BTC sale.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

France cuts cryptocurrency capital gains tax in half

Regulators in France could be warming up to cryptocurrencies. The digital currency has been considered by the country’s tax officials to be “commercial and industrial property” since 2014 and, as such, administered a capital gains tax of 45% on its sale. After a fair amount of backlash and continued community support, that amount has now been lowered to a flat rate of 19%. Of course, there are certain exceptions.

A group of taxpayers had lobbied against the tax plan and took their grievance to the High Administrative Court earlier this year. The court listed, pondered and finally agreed, forcing the Council of State (COS) to change the rules, French media outlet Le Monde reported. Now, cryptocurrencies are considered movable property and lowered the taxes. The COS added, however, that any income gained from activities such as mining, not from the sale of cryptocurrency, would still be considered gains on commercial and industrial property and would be charged taxes at the higher bracket.

Cryptocurrency has been received in France with a certain amount of enthusiasm not seen in many other countries. In 2017, Robert Ophèle, chief of French stock market regulator AMF, signaled support for digital currency when he said that it could serve a legitimate business purpose. While the overall attitude may be favorable, there are still some in the country, such as Bank of France Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau, who are calling for more emphasis on cryptocurrency exchanges.

de Galhau, who sought for a global approach to the markets, previously said, “In particular, we should work on exchanges and platforms which provide services at the interface between crypto-assets and the real economy.” In February, de Galhau was behind a movement, along with the finance ministers from both France and Germany, to have the G20 discuss how they could collectively begin to implement transnational regulation.

In the middle of March, French Minister of Finance and Economics Bruno Le Maire wrote an opinion piece, in which he stated: “A revolution is underway, of which bitcoin was only the precursor. The blockchain will offer new opportunities to our startups, for example with the Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) that will allow them to raise funds through ‘tokens,’ crypto-actives or not. It promises to create a network of trust without intermediaries, to offer increased traceability of transactions and, overall, to make the economy more efficient.”

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.