Crypto Currency

A Fight Over Specialized Chips Threatens an Ethereum Split

Ethereum endured an early test of faith. The people behind the barely year-old blockchain had taken Bitcoin’s idea of decentralized money and run with it, building a digital landscape where users, based on a mutual trust in code, could interact and create applications. Then hackers emptied $50 million from one of those applications, the DAO.…


Ethereum endured an early test of faith. The people behind the barely year-old blockchain had taken Bitcoin’s idea of decentralized money and run with it, building a digital landscape where users, based on a mutual trust in code, could interact and create applications. Then hackers emptied $50 million from one of those applications, the DAO. Facing a crisis, a core group of developers swiftly altered Ethereum’s code to return the lost funds.

The heist raised a key question for Ethereum and for dozens of other platforms that purport to be “decentralized:” Who decides when the code needs changing? Even at the time of the DAO hack, when Ethereum was a small community, the move sparked dissent. Some people kept using the old code, splitting Ethereum in two. And since then, even as Ethereum has grown into a multibillion-dollar operation with a vast constellation of businesses, developers, and users in its orbit, its process for making hard decisions remains ill-defined, a warren of Twitter polls, developer votes, and in-person conversations. Now a controversial new proposal—involving not just code, but politics—is testing what that means for Ethereum’s future.

The effort, led by developer Kristy-Leigh Minehan, centers on the kinds of machines people use to mine cryptocurrency. Like Bitcoin, Ethereum is kept secure by a system called proof-of-work, which involves computers racing to solve complex math problems. The solver reaps the rewards, hence the termmining. A decade ago, when Bitcoin was just getting started, a miner could turn a profit using chips found on their home desktop—first with standard computer processors, and later with the GPUs that power graphics cards. But the rising value of Bitcoin set off a race for more powerful hardware. Along came another type of chip, ASICs—which, like a finer, sharper chisel, are specially designed to handle the computations used to mine a particular coin.

In 2014, as he developed Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin watched the rise of these specialized chips with trepidation. In the Ethereum white paper, he observed that Bitcoin had become dominated by large and well-financed mining pools using ASICs and described ways in which Ethereum

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Crypto Currency

Hollywood Tackles Blockchain—With Not-Disastrous Results

true story is that of a 30-year-old crypto CEO, (apparently) dead of complications from Crohn’s disease while volunteering at an Indian orphanage, who leaves behind a riddle of false identities, illicit side ventures, and $100 million in missing cryptocurrency. Now there's a movie I’d pay to see.Instead, Hollywood has given us Crypto, a product of…


true story is that of a 30-year-old crypto CEO, (apparently) dead of complications from Crohn’s disease while volunteering at an Indian orphanage, who leaves behind a riddle of false identities, illicit side ventures, and $100 million in missing cryptocurrency. Now there’s a movie I’d pay to see.

Instead, Hollywood has given usCrypto,a product of headier times, when the bitcoin bubble still held air. Like many bad investments of that era, the movie hitched itself to the trending topic and prayed the trend was upward.Crypto, directed by John Stalberg Jr., had the makings of a blockbuster, with an all-star-ish cast including Kurt Russell, Alexis Bledel, and that other Hemsworth brother. It was released unceremoniously last Friday, direct-to-stream.

Beau Knapp plays Morton, a bank compliance officer whose “patriotic” adherence to money-laundering laws gets him kicked out of HQ in New York. Relocated to the local branch in his upstate hometown, Morton finds the place beset by modernity. The gentrifiers have arrived; there’s an art gallery, with an opioid-abusing proprietor. A cold snap has taken out his father’s potato farm. The liquor store owner hawks initial coin offerings, letting townies steal six-packs while he mines crypto in the storage room. (He’s pulling $500 a day.)

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Yes,Cryptois full of references to cryptocurrency. Some of them, like Bledel’s grousing about a bitcoin ATM, are even charming. But the movie isn’t really about crypto. Instead, it’s preoccupied with eulogizing the loss of hometown innocence, following a set of tired themes—drugs, crime, climate change, foreigners. (As the heroin-addled gallerist, a corrupt townie herself, puts it just before betraying her Russian mobster beau: “Life’s not simple anymore,” anywhere.) Bitcoin just serves as a handy meme to thread those social ills into the semblance of a plot.

Hollywood’s take on crypto wasn’t expected to be nuanced. What’s surprising a

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Crypto Currency

Coinbase expands by opening shop in 11 new countries

Coinbase, one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges globally, is launching its crypto-trading service in 11 new countries, the company announced Wednesday.  The full list of countries is as follows: Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Chile, India, Hong Kong, South Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines and New Zealand. SEE ALSO: Coinbase launches crypto Visa debit card in…


Coinbase, one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges globally, is launching its crypto-trading service in 11 new countries, the company announced Wednesday. 

The full list of countries is as follows: Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Chile, India, Hong Kong, South Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines and New Zealand.

With these latest additions, Coinbase now supports 53 countries and territories across four continents. 

The size of some of the markets involved makes this news very important for the crypto space. With the launch, Coinbase is opening up to a combined market of more than 2 billion people. 

Coinbase is one of the biggest, and most reliable, cryptocurrency exchanges that allows fiat deposits from users — a so-called fiat gateway. This makes it especially important in markets that haven’t so far had a very good way to buy cryptocurrencies with fiat.

Image: Coinbase

Customers in these new markets will be able to store, trade, send, and receive cryptocurrencies on Coinbase Pro and Coinbase.com.  It’s unclear, however, when will Coinb

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Crypto Currency

China plans to ban Bitcoin mining, report claims

China plans to put an end to cryptocurrency mining in the country, Reuters reported Tuesday citing a “draft list of industrial activities” China’s state planning agency looks to put a stop on.  The decision doesn’t appear to be final — the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) is seeking public opinions on a revised list…


China plans to put an end to cryptocurrency mining in the country, Reuters reported Tuesday citing a “draft list of industrial activities” China’s state planning agency looks to put a stop on. 

The decision doesn’t appear to be final — the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) is seeking public opinions on a revised list of industries that will either be encouraged, restricted or eliminated. Bitcoin now falls in that last category. 

According to Reuters, the NDRC didn’t give a date or any details on how, exactly, Bitcoin mining should be eliminated — but that would mean that Bitcoin mining is to cease immediately. 

Final date for public comments is May 7. CoinDesk points out, however, that the document is only a guide for future development, which may not have a real impact on Bitcoin mining in the country. 

Bitcoin mining, which is the process of creating new Bitcoin by employing computational power to solve an increasingly hard math puzzle and power Bitcoin’s payment network at the same time, is primarily done in China. A report dating October 2018 said 74% of Bitcoin mining p

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Crypto Currency

Coinbase lets UK users spend bitcoins with new Visa debit card

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has launched a Visa debit card in the UK, letting users spend cryptocurrencies in retail stores and online.  The company plans to roll the card out in other European countries next month.  SEE ALSO: The trailer for ‘CRYPTO’ just dropped, and cryptocurrency is good now The card is tied to your Coinbase…


Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has launched a Visa debit card in the UK, letting users spend cryptocurrencies in retail stores and online. 

The company plans to roll the card out in other European countries next month. 

The card is tied to your Coinbase account balance, meaning you can directly spend the coins you hold there. The card itself is issued by payment processor Paysafe and works like any other debit card: You can make contactless, chip and PIN payments as well as withdraw cash from ATMs. 

Image: Coindesk

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and all other cryptocurrencies present on Coinbase are supported, the company said.

The card comes with an accompanying Coinbase Card app, which lets users choose which crypto wallet they want to spend from. It also offers instant receipts and lets users track purchases. 

When it comes to crypto cards, there are three very important questions users have to ask before plunging in: Fees, limits, and exchange rates. Starting with the latter, Coinbase automatically converts crypto to fiat currency when you

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