The Apple-Goldman Sachs Credit Card is a Poor Substitute for a Secure Bitcoin Wallet

apple credit card iphone goldman sachs bitcoin
The security design of bitcoin transactions already made the new Goldman Sachs and Apple credit card obsolete before it even came out. | Source: AP Photo / Andy Wong

The security design of bitcoin transactions already made the new Goldman Sachs and Apple credit card obsolete before it even came out.

Tripp Mickle, Liz Hoffman, and Peter Rudegeair reported for the Wall Street Journal Thursday:

“Apple Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. plan to start issuing this spring a joint credit card paired with new iPhone features that will help users manage their money.

“The card will be rolled out to employees for testing in the next few weeks and officially launch later this year, according to people familiar with the matter.”

The Verge’s Jon Porter writes:

“The main selling point of the card is expected to be deeper integration with the Apple Wallet app, which will allow users to manage balances and set spending goals.”

Someone Tell Apple: Credit Cards Are Very Stupid

bitcoin credit card
Credit cards are dumb. | Source: Shutterstock

Credit cards are stupid.

I’ve always marveled that we hand our credit card or debit card to teenagers at restaurants to disappear with for a few minutes, with all the information on it to spend your money.

We tell total strangers over the phone our name, credit card number, its expiration date, and the super special three number security code on the back to have a pizza delivered.

This is insane.

It does show how trustworthy the people in our society generally are that a financial payment system whose security design is so broken hangs together as well as it does.

But this is a big planet, and there are a lot of people. Not all of them are honorable or trustworthy. Companies...


Virginia Police Department Pension Fund is Betting on Bitcoin

fairfax virginia police pension bitcoin crypto
Virginia's Fairfax County Police Department invested part of its pension fund in the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency industry. Now, they're explaining why. | Source: Fairfax County Police/Facebook

Fairfax County, Virginia has targeted part of its pension fund toward investments in the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency industry, as well as blockchain technology in general. Now, they’re explaining why.

Fairfax County Retirement Systems Director Jeff Weiler published a post in response to CCN and other media’s reporting on the county’s decision to invest in Morgan Creek’s latest offering, the Blockchain Opportunities Fund. Oversubscribed from its intended $25 million, the fund invests in blockchain companies. It captured $40 million from two Fairfax County pension plans and other institutions.

Less Than 1% Of Two Retirement Funds Allocated to Crypto Ventures

fairfax virginia police pension crypto bitcoin
Source: Fairfax County Police/Facebook

First things first, the post gives specifics about the amounts invested. In total, the Virginia retirement system dumped $21 million into the fund. $10 million is from the county employee’s retirement fund while $11 million is from the police officer’s fund. They represent 0.3% and 0.8% of the funds’ total assets, respectively.

The post’s intention is to assuage any concerns that might have arisen in the minds of retirees. As CCN clearly stated, the play was not strictly a Bitcoin buy. Instead, Morgan Creek will use the fund to invest in blockchain companies like Coinbase and Bakkt,...


Coinbase users can now withdraw Bitcoin SV balances to external wallets

Coinbase Finally Makes Bitcoin SV Funds Available for Withdrawal

If you’re a Coinbase user, you may have seen some new tokens on your account. The Bitcoin Cash chain split into two different chains back in November. It means that if you held Bitcoin Cash on November 15, you became the lucky owner of Bitcoin SV and Bitcoin ABC. And Coinbase just started handing out Bitcoin SV to its users if you’re involved in the split.

The split happened because Bitcoin Cash developers couldn’t agree on an upgrade. Some developers backed an upgrade to the code called Bitcoin ABC while others defended a more conservative update dubbed Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (Bitcoin SV).

Coinbase Users Can Now Withdraw BSV to External Wallets

Major American cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase now allows its users to withdraw Bitcoin SV (BSV) balances to external wallets, according to an announcement published on Feb. 14.

BSV appeared following a hard fork in the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) blockchain in November of last year. The for resulted in two new coins; Bitcoin SV and Bitcoin ABC. The camp for Bitcoin SV (Satoshi’s Vision) was lead by Australian computer scientist Craig Wright, who has previously declared himself to be Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto.

After the hard fork, Coinbase users holding BCH received an equal amount of BSV, however the exchange has, until now, not provided an option for...


Blockchain Slashed Forex Trading Costs by 25% says HSBC Exec

An HSBC executive has said that the bank’s blockchain-based system has helped it cut the costs of settling foreign exchange trades.

Speaking to Reuters, Mark Williamson, chief operating officer of FX cash trading and risk management, who oversees the blockchain project, said that its HSBC FX Everywhere platform saved it 25 percent as compared with traditional methods.

Last month, the bank announced it had settled more than $250 billion in transactions using its HSBC FX Everywhere platform.

It said then that it had settled 3 million foreign exchange transactions and made a further 150,000 payments over the digital ledger system, which it has been using...


Baidu Launches Plug and Play Blockchain Engine (BBE) platform Dapps

Chinese search giant Baidu has launched a blockchain platform aimed to simplify commercial deployment of decentralized apps, or dapps.

Officially announced by Baidu Cloud on Thursday, the Baidu Blockchain Engine (BBE) platform is touted as a kind of operating system allowing developers to produce blockchain applications “just like mobile apps,” and get around the storage and computing “bottlenecks” that are holding up blockchain’s potential.

BBE is built on what the company calls the ABC (AI, Big Data, cloud computing) technology stack, allowing customers to explore and develop ways to commercialize blockchain tech.

Hosted on Baidu’s “intelligent” cloud platform, the system uses a modular blockchain framework to provide developers with a multi-chain system including smart contract templates, dapp templates and other...


JPMorgan to Launch JPM Coin Digital Currency

JP Morgan is rolling out the first US bank-backed cryptocurrency to speed up payments.

In a move commentators may see as unlikely, the multinational lender will use its newly developed asset, dubbed “JPM Coin,” to increase settlement efficiency, initially within three of its operations.

Speaking to CNBC, Umar Farooq, who leads JPM’s blockchain focus, appeared buoyant on blockchain technology’s perspectives at the bank.

“So anything that currently exists in the world, as that moves onto the blockchain, this would be the payment leg for that transaction,” he told the network:

“The applications are frankly quite endless; anything where you have a distributed ledger which involves corporations or institutions can use this.”

JPM Coin will initially focus on international settlements by major corporations, helping speed up transactions that currently take a day or longer using extant options such as SWIFT.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. has officially become the first U.S. bank to launch its own digital token representing a fiat currency. Per a press release and interview issued on Valentine's Day, the bank has announced the creation of JPM Coin, a blockchain-based technology which will facilitate the transfer of payments between institutional clients. The coin has important differences from preexisting cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, primarily because it is redeemable at a 1:1 ratio for fiat currency held by JPMorgan.

JPM Coin is essentially a tool to help with the instantaneous transferring of payments between some of JPMorgan's clients. In order for an exchange of money between client parties to take place over a blockchain ledger, a digital currency must be used to facilitate the transaction. JPM Coin is the tool which helps to complete that process in a more efficient manner than traditional settlements.

JPM Coin itself is not money in the traditional sense. Rather, it is a digital token which represents U.S. dollars which are held by JPMorgan Chase. It maintains a value equal to one USD. Assuming that JPMorgan Chase deems the initial launch of JPM Coin to be successful, the bank has indicated its plans to use JPM Coin for additional currencies as well in the future.

The process by which clients will utilize JPM Coin is relatively straightforward. First, a client deposits a sum in a particular account and receives corresponding JPM Coins. Next, these coins can be used to facilitate transactions across a blockchain network and...


Pennsylvania Dept of Banking & Securities clarifies "Crypto Exchanges Are Not Money Transmitters"

Pennsylvania’s Department of Banking and Securities (DoBS) has clarified that crypto exchanges and service providers do not require a money transmission license to operate in the state.

The DoBS published the new guidance for the local crypto industry on Wednesday, following a number of enquiries from businesses, it said.

The department explained that as bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are not “money,” the Money Transmission Business Licensing Law or the Money Transmitter Act of Pennsylvania does not apply to crypto trading platforms.

According to the act, only fiat currency or the U.S. government-issued currency is considered money. “To date, no jurisdiction in the United States has designated virtual currency as legal tender,” the department said.

The act states that parties conducting the business of transmitting money need to be licensed if they transfer fiat currency...


Elections Canada says there has been “a growing interest” in cryptocurrency donations

Jessie Willms is a planet earth based former government and political researcher and communications officer helping to document the FinTech revolution and its impact on traditional institutions and governments. You can follow Jessie on Twitter at @WILLMS_.

 Elections Canada Consults With Political Parties on Crypto Donations
Elections Canada Consults With Political Parties on Crypto Donations

According to Elections Canada, the agency that runs federal elections in Canada, there has been “a growing interest” in cryptocurrency donations. This trend has prompted some political parties to ask for a ruling on how best to manage bitcoin and other cryptocurrency political donations and how to navigate the various reporting systems required by both Elections Canada and the parties so that they comply with the Canada Elections Act.

Election season is just beginning in Canada. There are three federal by-elections called for February 25, 2019; these will fill vacant seats, including a seat for one of the party leaders. A full federal election will be called before October 21, 2019.

On the legality of accepting cryptocurrency donations, an Elections Canada (EC) official told Bitcoin Magazine that “the Canada Elections Act does not prohibit political entities from accepting cryptocurrency contributions. Political entities are therefore currently able to accept such contributions.”

Elections Canada is taking the initial position that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are non-monetary, in-kind contributions, i.e. property or a commodity, but not a currency, a similar position taken by the U.S. Federal Elections Commission (FEC) and the Canada Revenue Agency.

However, Elections Canada has left the question of whether to classify cryptocurrencies as monetary or non-monetary open for the parties to consider in the current consultation process.

Is Bitcoin Legal in Canada?

Chetan Phull, a Toronto lawyer, founder and principal of Smartblock Law Professional Corporation, has written about the seemingly murky area of the legality of using cryptocurrencies as money in Canada.

Phull told Bitcoin Magazine that the use of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as money (legal tender) is, strictly speaking, illegal under Canada’s Currency Act.

However, he acknowledges that “Canada may be opening up to treating crypto as a type of non-fiat money, despite the current statutory definition of money.”

He points out that, to date, “there has been no actual enforcement action against the use of crypto as ‘money’ in Canada — not even against the Calgary Digital Dollar, where enforcement would be supported by long-standing precedent of the Supreme Court of Canada. Nor has there been any significant government pursuit of taxes not charged on trades...


2020 Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard invests in cryptocurrency

US Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii is running for president of the United States in 2020. In December 2017, Gabbard bought Litecoin and Ether at the height of the crypto bull market, according to federal filings.

“I have decided to run and will be making a formal announcement within the next week,” Gabbard tells CNN on Jan. 12 (see video below).

“There are a lot of challenges that are facing the American people…that I want to help solve.”

Gabbard: US Must Stay out of Mideast Wars

Gabbard says her main concern is to make sure that the US does not continue to intervene in ongoing conflicts in the Middle East.

Her other priorities include climate change, health care, and criminal justice reform.

There is one main issue that is central to the rest, and that is the issue of war and peace.

Gabbard, 37, is a fresh, energetic face on the American political scene. However, her chances of winning the Democrat Party’s nomination are slim, given the huge field of candidates.

For example, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is also running for president. Warren is a crypto critic who says the virtual currency market is full of scam artists.

Gabbard Bought Crypto at Height of Market

As CCN reported, Tulsi Gabbard bought $1,001 to $15,000 of Ether and Litecoin in December 2017. At the time, the bitcoin price soared to a record high of $19,500.

It’s unclear how much crypto Gabbard currently holds. However, it’s likely...


A New Kind of Crypto Exchange LIQNET.COM

LIQNET.COM is quite different to any exchange you have seen before. Using its own LEN mechanism, the Singapore-based project pools orders from other platforms into one single interface and allows users to trade at the best prices and minimum spread. Why is liquidity important for an exchange?

According to the Blockchain Transparency Institute (BTI), more than 80% of the volume exchanges show is faked. Besides raising concerns about the transparency and business practices of current trading platforms, this underlines a fundamental problem of insufficient liquidity in a bear market. During abrupt market movements, crypto is famous for, low liquidity basically means that you will not be able to buy or sell a significant amount of coins and miss out on profits or even lose money. If you aim to sell a large amount of coins, doing this without toppling the price can be problematic. LIQNET with its liquidity aggregation may be an answer to the problem that has been plaguing the market for some time now.

Сalling LIQNET an exchange would be inaccurate, rather, it is an exchange aggregator. LIQNET uses public APIs of other crypto exchanges to collect purchase and sale bids into a single order book. This allows users to get the benefit of trading on several exchanges, eliminating...