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Microsoft announced last week that they are using the Bitcoin blockchain in a new project to increase online security.

The project – called “Identity Overlay Network”, or “ION” for short – is being developed by a partnership between Microsoft and the Decentralized Identity Foundation.

The ION Project

ION was announced last Monday in a release co-authored by Vice President of Project Management, Alex Simons, and Senior Program Manager, David Buchner. Simons and Buchner are both members of Microsoft’s Identity Division.

We believe every person needs a decentralized, digital identity they own and control, backed by self-owned identifiers that enable secure, privacy preserving interactions, Simons wrote in the release. This self-owned identity must seamlessly integrate into their lives and put them at the center of everything they do in the digital world.

According to the release, most of our “digital identifiers”, like email addresses, are provided by companies or organisations. This puts someone else in control of our digital identities. However, ION is working on using blockchain to create Decentralized Identifiers. These “DIDs” would represent an individual online, but would be under the control of that individual rather than Microsoft, Google, etc.

Our goal is to create a decentralized identity ecosystem where millions of organizations, billions of people, and countless devices can securely interact over an interoperable system built on standards and open source components, Buchner wrote in the release.

The problem is that no blockchain currently has a high enough transactional volume to support this kind of community. Microsoft and the Decentralized Identity Foundation are working on “Sidetree” to solve this problem. This protocol aims to batch documents into single blockchain transactions. This would allow a higher volume on blockchains without changing their transaction rate.

Sidetree and ION are still in early phases of development. However, Microsoft hopes that making them available to the public will help to speed up the process. Because everything is open source, this release is like an interactive beta. It gives developers data to work with but developers can also interact with the code and point out the issues.

The Key Players

Microsoft is one of the original computing companies. They create hardware as well as software and cloud based solutions like Outlook email, Microsoft Office, and Skype.

The Decentralized Identity Foundation is a group of companies, organizations, and companies working to create a decentralized identity ecosystem. Members and partners include Microsoft, Mastercard, IBM, and Blockstack.

As mentioned above, all of the code involved in ION including the sidetree protocol is open source and freely available on Github. That means that anyone can contribute to the product without being a member of Microsoft or the DIF.

Is Microsoft Making a Coin?

With the rise of altcoins, there has been speculation about the next major company to create its own coin. In the release, however, Microsoft said that coins are not a goal of their product. That’s in part because DIDs are not meant to be traded or exchanged.

In this way, ION is more significant than another coin. It’s adding a use case to blockchain’s portfolio.

The post Microsoft Is Using Blockchain to Promote Online Security appeared first on Bitcoin Australia.

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Bitcoin is great for online purchases from a number of suppliers. It’s also fairly easy and convenient to exchange it online for other currencies. However, as few brick-and-mortar retailers accept it, it’s not of much use around town. If only there were crypto ATMs.

There are actually around a dozen major companies that make the just over 4500 Bitcoin ATMs in the world. Right now the vast majority of Bitcoin ATMs are in the Eastern US. There are also around twenty in Australia, mostly in the South East. Sitting in the middle is the UK with just over 200, also mostly in the South East.

Bitcoin ATMs around the world

One may be coming to a location near you.

Lamassu Bitcoin ATMs

Lamassu is one of the biggest crypto ATM companies. They were in Portugal but recently moved to Switzerland. The move was apparently due to a more crypto-friendly atmosphere. The Swiss are actually still very fond of paper money. They’re also very fond of privacy and not very fond of financial regulation. So, while Switzerland isn’t a big market for Bitcoin ATMs, it’s a good legal atmosphere for a crypto company.

Lamassu makes a variety of ATMs beginning at around AU$5600. That’s around twice the price of a conventional ATM. In their defense, performing blockchain transactions is more than your standard ATM has to do.

The machines allow users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies with local currencies. The machines can currently work with Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Dash, and Zcash.

On the backend, the machines allow owners quite a lot of flexibility. Owners can make the machines pay for themselves by collecting a flat-rate or percentage of transactions. The crypto-savvy owner can also decide what kind of wallet that fee would pay into. Owners can also decide whether their Bitcoin ATM shows up on registries.

This article isn’t a Lamassu ad, so we won’t get into all of the different models that they carry. For the sake of background, however, we’ll say that they come in all shapes and sizes. Some store hard cash like conventional ATMs and others don’t.

General Bytes – Cheap, Versatile, and Common

Another popular crypto ATM around the world is made by General Bytes, based in Prague. The company, founded in 2013, claims to be the leading Bitcoin ATM manufacturer with over 2,300 machines reportedly sold.

Their popularity may be partially in that they are much cheaper than Lamassu. Machines start at around AU$2,100 – less than half the price of a Lamassu. That’s also around the price of some conventional ATMs.

Like Lamassu, General Bytes also makes a number of different crypto ATM models. They also make point-of-sale hardware starting at less than AU$1,000. Point-of-sale, or POS, is hardware that buyers can use to pay retailers, by the way.

Being cheaper than Lamassu isn’t their only advantage. They also handle many more varieties of crypto.

Genesiscoin – You Pay for Security

Genesiscoin is another leading crypto ATM manufacturer. The company makes two ATM models, both over AU$10,000. That’s a pretty big price tag but the machines come with heavy security including bill validators and optional thumbprint scanners.

Unfortunately, Genesiscoin is also careful with their own information. We don’t really know very much else about them.

Why We Need Crypto ATMs

Buying Bitcoin from an ATM instead of from your home computer has unclear benefits, at least in most areas. The greatest potential benefit in this area is for people who don’t have regular internet access in their homes. Crypto experts have spoken about the potential for Bitcoin as a global currency, particularly in places like Africa. In many regions in Africa it is dangerous to carry physical money and people operate in several currencies. Having access to a coin ATM could allow these people to travel without carrying money. It could also make it easier, safer, and cheaper to transfer currencies. Unfortunately, there are no Bitcoin ATMs currently in the region.For most of us, being able to sell Bitcoin from an ATM makes a lot more sense. Ever been crypto rich but penny poor and needed gas? Until more places start carrying crypto POS hardware, more crypto ATMs could really come in handy.

The technology isn’t only becoming more available, it’s becoming more advanced. The first Lightning Crypto ATM transaction took place at a recent hackathon.

The post Who Can Benefit from the Spread of Crypto ATMs? appeared first on Bitcoin Australia.

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Australia is a great place to visit if you want to pay with cryptocurrencies. More and more businesses put a Bitcoin accepted here sign on their shop windows. And Aussies are increasingly familiar with the crypto world and blockchain technology. However, despite the regulation in the industry, Australian banks do not share this enthusiasm.

At the moment, the general policy of all major banks in Australia is to avoid doing business with crypto companies.

A Slackening of Initial Restrictions

Yet, there are signs that banks are no longer viewing cryptocurrencies as the big bad wolf. A few years ago, most of them would not allow clients to use their cards to buy crypto. Now, almost all Australian banks have gone back on this restriction. However, the largest bank in Australia, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, only allows such purchases via debit cards, not credit cards.

However, no matter what type of cards the customer uses, all banks monitor these transactions for unusual behaviour. ANZ, the third largest bank in Australia, stated that this practice is necessary for complying with regulatory responsibilities. But this is standard procedure for every kind of transaction with fiat currency, as well.

Nonetheless, there is still a long way to go before Australians can enjoy crypto related services through their banks. Their reticence is the result of two key aspects: legitimacy and disruption.

How Long Till Cryptocurrencies Become Legitimate Stores of Value?

On one hand banks maintain a cautious attitude towards digital assets because these represent a high risk. Despite the growing number of regulations in this field, traditional financing institutions are not ready to take the plunge and accept crypto as a form of currency.

This is not unusual. After all, the US dollar needed almost a century to gain legitimacy at international level. While cryptocurrencies are just one decade old – and making impressive progress. For instance, Australia is home to the first crypto town, a beach resort where tourists can pay with Bitcoin for all the products and services.

At the other end of the spectrum, the largest credit union in the country, Heritage Bank, stated:

Due to the high risk and anonymous nature of cryptocurrency trading, Heritage has made the decision not to transact with business accounts that trade in cryptocurrencies.

Is Crypto a Threat to Traditional Financial Services?

On the other hand, cryptocurrrencies represent a form of competition to banking and financial institutions. This may explain why the largest Australian banks have flat out refused to state their position on accepting cryptocurrencies for financial products and services. And this is the same position of large international banks. The reason for this attitude may be an attempt to protect their business model.

After all, cryptocurrencies are disruptors of the traditional model of financial service. They introduce the concept of decentralisation. Transactions and funds do not have to pass through a specific institution to gain value and legitimacy. Peer-to-peer transfers are faster.

Plus, the digital assets have an intrinsic value that does not depend on political, social and economic conditions in a specific territory. Hence the success of blockchain financial services in South American countries.

What about traditional banks? Will they be left out, literally excluded from the flow of assets at global level? At the moment, they don’t seem to want to join this flow. But things will change in time. And we will certainly revisit this topic when there are any further developments.

The post Australians Love Cryptocurrencies, Our Banks Not As Much appeared first on Bitcoin Australia.

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Supporters of Julian Assange have donated thousands of dollars in cryptocurrency since his arrest last week, according to news agencies.

The Arrest of Julian Assange

London Police arrested the australian cyber-activist on April 11 following a forcible eviction from the Ecuadorian embassy. Assange had been living in the embassy for several years, fearing arrest and possible extradition. He is wanted in a number of countries for a variety of charges, many of them relating to his website Wikileaks.

Assange strained his relationship with the embassy in previous months according to staff. His actual removal was due to his alleged use of the embassy as a center for illegal spying, according to the Ecuadorian President.

Wikileaks has been a controversial site for over ten years. The site claims to be an organ of journalism promoting transparency in government. However, a number of governments claim that the site has illegally posted classified content. Cyber-activists, including the group known as “Anonymous” have found a number of ways to support the organization. The group infamously shut down digital payment services that refused to allow donations to Wikileaks in 2010.

Following the incident, Wikileaks began accepting donations in cryptocurrency. When the price of Bitcoin skyrocketed, the organization found itself holding large amount of money, according to Assange.

Support from the Crypto Community

The actions of Anonymous don’t mean that everyone who has supported Assange has done so illegally. Assange made a lot of friends in the Bitcoin community and previously praised its secure, private, and decentralized nature.

When Wikileaks reached out to the cryptocurrency community via tweet shortly after the arrest, the community responded. The organisation asked for donations for Assange’s legal defense.

The cryptocurrency news website Toshi Times reported that supporters donated over US$40,000 in Bitcoin (over 8 BTC). That’s in addition to donations in other cryptocurrencies including Zcash, as well as donations in fiat currencies.

A report by CCN called Assange’s arrest “disturbing” and pointed out the number of transactions. At the time, the average transaction was just over US$100.

What Happens Next?

As of this writing, Assange’s fate is not clear. He could stand trial in the U.K. but the authorities may also extradite him to the United States. There are theories that Assange was arrested in a deal to have him brought to the United States. However, U.S. President Donald Trump recently claimed to not know anything about Assange. This is unlikely, however, as he praised Wikileaks when he was a candidate. Further, members of his cabinet are currently facing charges for working with Wikileaks — and possibly Assange himself — in order to use the site to publish information about then presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Wherever Assange goes to trial, it is unclear what his fate may be. The legal case against Assange and Wikileaks is very complicated. Some of their actions would be illegal if not for freedoms granted to the press. However, there remains legal debate as to whether Wikileaks qualifies as an organ of journalism.


Featured image credit:
Cancillería del Ecuador, RUEDA DE PRENSA CONJUNTA ENTRE CANCILLER RICARDO PATIÑO Y JULIAN ASSANGE – 14953880621CC BY-SA 2.0

The post Assange Supporters Donate Thousands in Cryptocurrency appeared first on Bitcoin Australia.

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What do you say about a chance to find US$1 million in Bitcoin? Was that a yes? If so, then you should start playing Satoshi’s Treasure, a game co-created by Eric Meltzer, co-founder of Primitive Ventures. The game consists of a series of logical clues that help players locate the keys for the Bitcoin trove.

How Does Satoshi’s Treasure Work?

Eric Meltzer describes the game as the Bitcoin version of Ready Player One. He divided the keys to the wallet containing Bitcoin worth US$1 million into 1,000 keys. In order to move funds to their own wallets, players must collect a minimum of 400 keys.

So, how can players get these Bitcoin keys? What rules must they obey? First of all, there are just some very basic rules, such as do not harm others, do not enter other people’s private properties and do not destroy anything. Other than that, there are no rules and no ways to get hold of the clues ahead of time. To ensure fair chances for everyone, Eric Meltzer partnered with Zcash co-creator Ian Miers and other 18 persons to create the clues.

Players can discover these clues after solving logical puzzles. The puzzles are all over the internet as well as in the physical world. Thus, the players have the whole wide cyber and real world to explore.

But Where Exactly Should Players Look for Clues?

According to Eric Meltzer: There are some clues that are very scavenger hunt-y, and clues where it’s purely logic puzzles or math problems.

So far, the official website of the game has released the first clue, called Geostationary Orbit.  If you want to be notified of these clues, you can register on the website with your email address or phone number.

Also, Meltzer and the other co-creators of Satoshi’s Treasure plan to launch an app at a later date. The app would help players keep track of the clues and the collected keys. It would also be used for sponsorship and partnerships with external brands. However, players will not need to install the app to continue playing.

Who Provides the Funds for the Winnings?

The game creators were the ones who contributed the funds for Satoshi’s Treasure. Eric Meltzer donated a sizable part of the bounty. The rest of the Bitcoin needed to reach US $1 million comes from an anonymous angel investor.

Thus, players can rest assured that the bounty is out there and ready to be found. Thousands of players from all over the world have already joined the quest for Satoshi’s Treasure. Some of them are even teens.

Could Gaming be the Best Way to Familiarise the Youth with Bitcoin?

Satoshi’s Game could actually be more than just a game. Whether they intended it or not, the creators have made many young people curious about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The concept of the game, involving collaboration between the players, promotes crypto education.

In this way, young people can obtain hands-on information about how blockchain technology works and how they can use Bitcoin in real life. Therefore, even if they do not discover any of the keys, players are not left empty-handed. They will acquire useful information which will serve them in the future.

The post Satoshi’s Treasure – a New Game Hiding US$1M in Bitcoin appeared first on Bitcoin Australia.

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You are interested in blockchain and cryptocurrencies, but have you ever considered working in the field? One of the great things about decentralised currencies is that they often have decentralised offices. While most cryptocurrency startups and companies have offices in big cities, many, if not most, cryptocurrency workers work remotely.

Unfortunately, this can make looking for a job in the field a little unorthodox. After all, unless you live in a big city, you might not have immediate physical access to a crypto company. You do have constant and immediate digital access to these companies. However, with thousands of countries, keeping an eye on who has what jobs posted can be exhausting.

That’s why Crypto Recruit does it for you.

What Is Crypto Recruit?

Crypto Recruit is a blockchain and cryptocurrency recruiting company based in Sydney.

Other than its unique focus, the platform works like many other recruiting platforms. It has tools for recruiters and tools for job seekers.

How Does It Work?

Companies register with the site and put up their contact info, jobs that they have available, pay, and location. There is also space to describe the job and upload documents.

Job seekers register and post much of the same content. Name, contact information, location, desired positions, and keywords. They also have space to put in additional information and upload a resume.

While both job seekers and companies are required to add a location, both are able to make that location “remote”.

Searching jobs on Crypto Recruit is easy and the bar is always on the top of the page.

Job seekers can search by keyword, desired position, and location. Right now, job recruiters can’t browse through job seekers like they can on professional networking sites like LinkedIn.

Other Services

The site isn’t just a recruiting platform, it also has other useful tools for recruiters and seekers.

The “Tools and Training” tab has links to online crypto courses and information on some of the latest technology.

The page also has a blog. Topics include resources for job seekers like advice on putting together a resume and how to talk with recruiters. Articles for recruiters include articles on how, when, and why to go about recruiting. There are also articles that would be interesting for anyone, like articles on markets and regulation in the industry.

The decentralised nature of blockchain technology makes it a unique field for recruiters and job seekers. Job seekers don’t need to live near job centres but looking for online postings can be difficult. Similarly, recruiters don’t need to look for people in their area but have trouble finding qualified candidates. Crypto Recruiter is the service we needed to solve this problem.

The post Building the Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Industry with Crypto Recruit appeared first on Bitcoin Australia.

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Unsettling news comes from China for crypto miners: the country considers making mining farms illegal. This information made headlines last week, after an update published by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). The NDRC is the top economic planning agency in China. Thus, the recent announcement carries significant weight.

Is China Ready to Kill Off Half of the Bitcoin Mining Farms in the World?

According to South China Morning Post, NDRC stated that crypto mining uses too many natural resources and generates pollution. However, most of the mining farms currently operating in China run on cheap and clean energy. They use hydropower generated during the rainy season. Actually, this is one of the key reasons why there are so many mining farms in China.

So, how many such farms are there in China? The answer is, around half of the Bitcoin mining network. At the same time, the largest Bitcoin-mining hardware manufacturer in the world is a Chinese company Bitmain.

Reading between the Lines

However, not everyone is convinced that mining farms will actually be banned in China. In this respect, Reuters cited Jehan Chu, the managing partner of blockchain investment company Kenetic, stating:

I believe China simply wants to ‘reboot’ the crypto industry into one they have oversight on, the same approach they took with the internet.

Indeed, there is no secret that China tries to control everything – from its people (police officers are currently equipped with face recognition glasses) to technology. In fact, Bitcoin critics have drawn attention for some time now to the high concentration of mining farms in China. The Communist state’s dominant position in the crypto world may have a centralising effect in the long run.

What Happens After China Enacts the Ban?

Thus, even if China does outlaw mining farms, it would not be such a bad thing for the blockchain world, after all. As Michael Zhong, an analyst at TokenInsight from Beijing, told South China Morning Post: Bitcoin mining will no longer be dominated by China but become more decentralised.

Also, there are precedents that make the NDRC threat to mining farms quite real. In September 2017, China outlawed cryptocurrency exchanges that served local clients. After this decision, Bitcoin prices dropped significantly. There is no telling the effect of shutting down half of the mining farms.

At the moment, the NDRC proposal is under public debate, and will be until the 7th of May. Thus, we only have to wait one month until we can know for sure whether miners can continue using the crypto farms in China or need to look for other regions.

The post China Plans to Outlaw Bitcoin Mining Farms appeared first on Bitcoin Australia.

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Crypto markets have been in a state that investors call a bear market. The trend set in after the decline of crypto markets late last year.

Bear markets are characterized by long periods of fairly consistent numbers. There’s nothing wrong with bear markets, they’re just not as exciting as periods of rapid growth — called bull markets.

To be called a bear market or a bull market, the trend has to stick around for a while. As a result, it’s too early to say that crypto has reentered a bull market but numbers have turned bullish.

The rally was first identified in a tweet by a crypto expert Kain Warwick a few days ago.

Who Is Kain Warwickk?

Kain Warwick is the CEO of Blueshyft.

Blueshyft is an Australian company that manages digital payments. The company started out doing things like processing credit card payments for business but has since expanded into crypto. Working with a number of popular crypto exchanges, including Bitcoin Australia, gives Blueshyft an overview of diverse markets and trends.

Yesterday Blueshyft saw the highest single day deposit volume since May 2018, Warwick tweeted. This is new fiat inflow into crypto, retail buyers are coming back into the market.

Yesterday @Blueshyft saw the highest single day deposit volume since May 2018. That is new fiat inflow into crypto, retail buyers are coming back into the market.

— Kain Warwick (@kaiynne) April 4, 2019
What Does He Think About the Increase?

Warwick expanded his ideas in an interview with online news publication Micky.

We work with a lot of exchanges and we’ve seen a pretty steady increase in the volume of deposits over the last two or three months – which in 2016 was a very very strong leading indicator of the rally we saw in late 2016 all the way to the end of 2017, Warwick told Micky. For me that’s one of the best indicators – you’re seeing organic interest back that people want to put money into crypto.

Warwick also pointed out that more people investing in crypto has a compounding effect that makes holdings even more profitable. There’s also the fact that more people in the market and a more lucrative market makes the market more appealing. That doesn’t mean that every uptick means a consistently strong market in the near future. It takes time for these trends to set in.

I think we need a solid couple of months of upward price movement to really confirm that trend reversal and then I think we’ll see some excitement come back into the space, said Warwick.

It’s true that the first days of April saw huge gains and that most of those gains have stuck around. However, Bitcoin and Ethereum have been steadily rising since February.

coinmarketcap.com – Bitcoin price from 1 February 2019 to 10 April 2019

The post April Showers Bring a Crypto Rally appeared first on Bitcoin Australia.

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Bitcoin and Friends may not be the crypto show we want, but it may be the crypto show we deserve. At first glance it looks like a family-friendly educational program but don’t watch it with the kids. While there are moments of inspirational or educational dialogue, this show is not for the young. Filled with strong language, drug references, graphic nudity and violence, Bitcoin and Friends is anything but what you’d expect.

Whether that’s what you like in a show or not, it’s worth taking a look at. Even if you don’t watch the first episode, take a glance at their business model.

A Breakdown of the First Episode

Bitcoin and Friends takes place in New Jersey USA, sometime during the throes of the 2008 financial crisis. It follows Bitcoin — personified as an orange disk with a face, hands, and feet. Bitcoin wakes up on a table as a shadowy figure, introducing himself as his father, gives a teary goodbye. The father is, of course, Satoshi Nakamoto.

Bitcoin starts wandering the streets of New Jersey, vomiting smaller versions of himself called Itty Bitties.

Bitcoin is eventually saved by the foul-mouthed ice cream man, Jones. Jones lost everything in the “Great Recession” and now sells drugs out of an ice cream truck.

Jones

He introduces Bitcoin to Harold and Mitalik, computer nerds who hang out in Harold’s mom’s basement. The pair discovers the nature of cryptocurrencies and blockchain, which they attempt to explain to Bitcoin and Jones. Promises would no longer need to be held by people in places of power, Mitalik explains.

The unlikely friends start looking for Nakamoto. They first find a character coincidentally named Nakamoto, but then later realise they should just follow the coins.

So, they eventually find Pal Fifty, a disabled computer scientist and early Bitcoin adopter. The episode ends with Pal Fifty explaining the potential of Bitcoin. Jones asks if this means that he could one day trade in the Itty Bitties for millions of dollars in cash. In an homage to The Matrix, Pal Fifty responds I’m telling you that when we’re ready, you won’t have to.

“Guest Appearances” and Historical Humour

If you’re deep into Bitcoin, the show has a few extra layers. Take the Itty Bitties, for example. These represent the actual bitcoin currency. Every time Bitcoin vomits them, his glove gives a notification that a block has been found.

While some of the main characters are fictional, like Jones (probably), others represent historical figures. Mitalik Butane is named after Vitalik Buterin. The real life Buterin was an early adopter of Bitcoin and a co-founder of Ethereum as well as Bitcoin Magazine.

As far as Pal Fifty goes, that’s the name the website gives him, but in the episode the characters clearly call him Hal Finney. Finney is another real-life computer programmer and was the first person to receive a Bitcoin transaction.

  • Pal Fifty
  • Mitalik
  • Harold

The character Harold, is probably a compilation of early adopters. The website describes him as a cautionary tale, the guy who bought the Bitcoin Pizza, the one who put all his coins in Mt. Gox and the one that invested in Bitconnect.

Most events from the show are also based on historical events. For example, the characters encountering a person coincidentally named Satoshi Nakamoto. The pen-name of Bitcoin’s creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, actually belongs to a real person. The real life Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto denies creating Bitcoin.

The Show’s Funding Model

As mentioned above, you don’t need to like the show to find the concept interesting. While Bitcoin and Friends is pretty low-brow, the creators partnered with CoinCube. CoinCube is a sort of cryptocurrency investment company. The show is made by Uncle Chris Productions. The executive producer is Robert William Allen, a founder of CoinCube.

Bitcoin

The interesting thing about Bitcoin and Friends is that it is funded by cryptocurrency donations. They currently accept donations in a number of cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Monero, and Ripple.

A season of the show has been planned but episodes are only released when a certain amount has been donated. They’re currently waiting on a donation of five BTC (st this point around AU$36,000) before they release episode two.

There are even special rewards for donors, beginning at US$15. Bitcoin and Friends is also hiring for pretty much any position.

According to a budget breakdown provided on the website, the bulk of funding goes to animation. Sound design and music licensing are also big expenses. Voice talent takes up a relatively small portion, partially because the same people are voicing several characters.

Episode descriptions are available on the site as well. However, descriptions for episodes beyond episode one are “locked.” For those interested in the plot, teasers include the names of future episodes and characters not in the first episode. Particularly taunting is the suggestion of an Ethereum character.

Bitcoin and Friends episode 1 characters Where to Watch?

The first episode of Bitcoin and Friends launched on 28 March. At the time of writing, it has over 90,000 views. The link above is to the show’s website. There you can find casting information, episode plans, information on donating, and even a budget breakdown. To watch the actual episode, you need to go to YouTube, or you can watch it below. The channel doesn’t only post episodes. It also has a vlog, featuring the protagonist.

If Bitcoin and Friends sounds like something you would watch, go ahead and watch it, it’s free. But why not donate?

Even if Bitcoin and Friends doesn’t sound like it’s for you, it’s a neat idea. After all, it makes perfect sense for a show about Bitcoin to be crowd-funded with crypto.

Bitcoin and Friends | Episode 1 - YouTube

The post “Bitcoin and Friends” Launches Its Inaugural Webisode appeared first on Bitcoin Australia.

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Gamers were some of the earliest adopters of new technologies like blockchain systems and cryptocurrencies. The crypto-based company HashCash suggests that that might be largely because many games already have on-board payment systems. That’s only one of the reasons that HashCash has developed a system for blockchain gaming. Their technology has the potential to change the ways in which online games are designed and played. But what does it mean and how does it work?

Who Is Involved in Blockchain Gaming?

HashCash launched their blockchain gaming venture because they see cryptocurrencies and blockchain as being highly compatible with gaming. The project is so successful that the California-based company is currently expanding into Malta.

HashCash blockchain gaming platform

HashCash isn’t the only group involved in blockchain gaming. The DGA Summit (DGA stands for “Digital Games and Assets”) is an upcoming conference for such groups.

Blockchain Gaming and Security

Many games already have internal payment structures that allow users to pay for items in the game. Many games allow users to pay for items with in-game currencies or with real money through a credit card.

Unfortunately, it is possible for items, in-game currencies, or even real money to be stolen from some game accounts. Naturally, introducing cryptocurrencies and blockchain principles into games and payment methods can prevent this. Gaming accounts can be linked to secure ledgers just like those used for other cryptocurrencies.

Further, blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies allow for microtransactions that aren’t currently possible or profitable with current payment technologies. Have you ever bought a whole package of digital items because you really wanted one item? Have you ever wondered why in-game items can be so expensive? One reason that problems like these exist is that when a company makes a credit card transaction, they pay a certain percentage or sum to the credit card company. That means that if they receive a small enough payment, it’s not financially worth-while to them. This is the same reason that many brick-and-mortar or online retailers have minimum credit card transactions. It’s a problem that doesn’t exist when using cryptocurrencies.

Another hope is that blockchain in gaming will make it easier to monetise games. This could make it easier for smaller developers to competitively enter the gaming market.

Blockchain and the Gaming Experience

Blockchain gaming isn’t just about security, it’s also about ingenuity.

Have you ever played a game that released what was supposedly going to be a rare weapon or character only to find out that it is easily available? Game designers using blockchain technology can prove that items that they introduce in the game are actually rare.

Further, some games allow players to create or customise items within the game. Players could then sell these items with other players for in-game currencies, similar to the character Aech in Ready Player One.

How Does It Work?

So how does blockchain gaming work? It’s actually pretty simple. It works a lot like payment systems in games currently work. In-game tokens can be purchased with off-game currencies, in this case crypto instead of credit.

In a blockchain-based exchange rather than a bank-based exchange, players could theoretically have a lot more freedom. Players could buy and sell in-game tokens for crypto and vice-versa. They could also theoretically buy and sell items for crypto. Having and using the in-game currency would of course also have certain benefits.

Blockchain gaming has a lot of potential for gamers who are looking for more customisability in their gaming experience. It also adds a lot of opportunities for increased connections with other players. The small industry is growing fast, so keep your wallet and your controller handy.

The post The Forward-Moving World of Blockchain Gaming appeared first on Bitcoin Australia.

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