A-Ads Plans to Drop Bitcoin in Favor of Cheaper Altcoins

The issues affecting Bitcoin have been documented multiple times in recent months. Slow transactions and high fees make it an unusable way of transferring money. As these issues linger, the situation sends shockwaves throughout the Bitcoin industry. Advertising platform, A-Ads plans to drop Bitcoin support in the near future. Instead, they will integrate withdrawal support through various unspecified altcoins.

In this day and age, using Bitcoin for payments is anything but convenient. There is nothing about the whole experience which is even remotely appealing. Add in the high fees and confirmation delays, and it is evident something needs to change. Until that happens, more and more platforms will drop Bitcoin support altogether. If even advertising solutions want to ditch the world’s leading cryptocurrency, it’s evident things are not looking great by any means.

A-Ads Prepares to Ditch Bitcoin due to Growing Issues

More specifically, A-Ads has announced their plans to integrate altcoin support. Right now, the advertising platform works with Bitcoin only. However, due to mounting fees, the withdrawals are becoming pretty expensive. Users need to pay a lot of money to get their earnings out. It is an unacceptable situation which needs to be resolved. Unfortunately, A-Ads will be forced to pivot toward altcoin withdrawals in this regard.

Which currencies they aim to support, remains undetermined at this point. There are quite a few options at the company’s disposal right now. Bitcoin Cash is definitely an option, but nothing has been confirmed just yet. Bitcoin itself simply isn’t suited for these smaller payouts right now. A lot of withdrawals from A-Ads remain pending due to network delays as well. Something will need to change sooner rather than later. It will not necessarily be on Bitcoin’s end, by the look of things.

Other services may follow the example set by A-Ads. Although a lot of companies remain loyal to Bitcoin, the issues can no longer be ignored. How all of this will play out in the long run, has yet to be determined at this point in time. Adding altcoin support will free up a lot of resources and keep A-Ads users happy. At the same time, issues like these should have never existed in the first place. A very uneasy situation that only grows worse as more time progresses.

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Interesting things are bound to happen in South Korea. It is a major region for cryptocurrencies, but some things are coming to change. Rather than await government regulation, all exchanges have imposed strict rules upon themselves. Around 70% of all coins will be kept in cold storage at all times. There will be a ban on insider trading and no marketing to promote trading. Last but not least, there will be no additional coin listings until further notice.

It is evident South Korea needs some cryptocurrency regulation. As we all know, governments are not the best help in this regard. They often stifle innovation and make things unnecessarily complicated.Things have evolved in such a direction South Korea has become the new major Bitcoin hub. That in itself so pretty impressive, as they took over from China in quick succession. However, the lack of official regulation has always been somewhat of a burden.

Self-regulation by the Korean Exchange Association

To put this into perspective, the Korean exchange association has taken it upon themselves to introduce regulation. They have all done so voluntarily, which is rather unusual. As a result, all companies will adhere to these new rules without hindrances. Putting 70% of all money into cold storage makes a lot of sense. It is something most exchanges should have adhered to from day one. Still, it is a welcome change and one that will make cryptocurrency more legitimate.

Moreover, the exchanges will ban insider trading by exchange employees. That is always a big worry for any cryptocurrency exchange. These markets are susceptible to massive manipulation by both external and internal sources. It is a smart decision by the Korean exchange association. We can only hope other countries the world will embrace a similar model. Only time will tell if that is the case, though. No marketing to promote trading is already an interesting development, yet it shouldn’t have much of an impact whatsoever.

Perhaps the biggest changes imposed by the Korean exchange association is the refusal to list new coins. We have seen select altcoins being added to most exchanges and paired with Korean Won. This has been quite a positive decision, even though some of these additions raise questions. For the time being, no exchange will add new currencies to its platform until further notice. It is unclear how long it will take before new coins will be added. We do know the Korean exchange association wants this self-regulation to go into effect by Q1 2018.

The classified ads website Craigslist recently added the option for buyers and sellers to specify that they’d like to transact using cryptocurrency. The new feature was added late last week to little fanfare. It was another cryptocurrency news outlet that picked up the development that was subsequently reported in The Verge and other publications.

To use the option, sellers simply check a box when posting their listing. Meanwhile, those wishing to buy goods or services with cryptocurrency just filter their search results by using the option “cryptocurrency ok” down the right-hand side of the screen.

Interestingly, Craigslist doesn’t force users to specify which cryptocurrency they wish to use for purchases. It also doesn’t exclusively target Bitcoin users unlike most adopters of digital currency. This is because Craigslist do not deal with any payments themselves and therefore it makes little difference to them if you swap an Ether for an X Box, a NEO for a pair of sneakers, or even an assortment of red magic beans for some yellow ones. As such, it’s up to the seller to decide which of the myriad digital currencies available that they’re happy to accept.

This means that those wishing to buy or sell using cryptocurrency will likely be unaffected by the issues that caused online video game vendor Steam to stop accepting Bitcoin transactions last week. According to a statement from the news section of Steam’s website, the company were forced to discontinue Bitcoin payments because of extreme daily volatility, as well as long transaction times.

Presumably, because Craigslist sellers set their own terms for payment, they can negotiate with the buyer to mitigate some of the problems Steam faced should they decide to take Bitcoin. If they elect to transact using a different cryptocurrency, there will likely be less delay in receiving funds, and as such, the volatility will be less relevant than it was for the likes of Stream.

Despite it being just days since the option was launched, vendors on the classified ads site are already taking advantage of it. A browse of the adverts based in Brooklyn, New York, shows several sellers willing to accept some form of crypto for payment for their listings. Meanwhile, UK users are somewhat more limited with crypto listings. However, a reasonably priced games console and TV combination were amongst the items that could be swapped for some undisclosed cryptocurrency.

Some have suggested that using cryptocurrency to pay a complete stranger off the internet for something could prove safer than traditional currency. However, despite not having to carry a wad of cash to the meeting point, the person you’re buying off will know you have access to cryptocurrency. There have already been cases of extortion surrounding peer-to-peer Bitcoin trades. Malicious sellers could use the lure of a ridiculous deal to draw crypto users to them and once identified, threaten them with violence to relinquish funds either then and there, or at a later date. If you’re thinking of using Craigslist to buy goods or services with crypto, you really shouldn’t consider it any safer than cash.

 

 

Coinbase is one of those cryptocurrency companies looking to expand its presence. There have been rumors regarding the possible addition of other cryptocurrencies. So far, no one knows which currencies those will be exactly or when this will happen. It does appear the company is looking to hire a handful of additional engineers. These staffers could work on any digital currency protocol they would like. An interesting turn of events, to say the least.

It is good to see Coinbase acknowledge they need to support additional currencies. Right now, their list is still pretty short. Given the strong demand for exposure to other altcoins, something will need to change sooner or later. Integrating altcoin support will not be easy whatsoever. In fact, the company will need to introduce some big changes to make this happen. Hiring additional engineers would certainly help move things along in this regard.

Coinbase is Serious About Altcoin Support

According to Brian Armstrong, the company would like to have five additional engineer son board. These staffers can work unsupervised and focus on whichever digital currency protocol they like. This opens the door for altcoin integration on the platform. Whether or not anyone will decide to explore this venture, remains to be seen, though. A lot of altcoin developers would like to see their coin on this exchange. However, they need to pass the engineering interview first and foremost. That may be a bit of a challenge for a lot of people.

All of this shows the company is pretty serious about altcoin support. It would be good to see some of the respected currencies added to their platform. However, one could argue the company’s engineers should focus on this integration themselves. Then again, this new opportunity shouldn’t be ignored whatsoever. Any developer or engineer passionate about altcoins can make a meaningful impact. Whether or not anyone will respond to this “challenge” remains to be determined, though. Right now, that seems somewhat unlikely.

There is a growing demand for more fiat currency gateways associated with prominent altcoins. Right now, some currencies genuinely struggle in this regard. This even includes currencies in the top 10 by market cap. Something will need to change sooner or later to improve upon this situation. Without additional engineers, Coinbase won’t be of much help, that much is evident.

Expectations related to the Bitcoin price are higher than ever before. The year 2017 has surpassed all previous expectations in quick succession. Some sources already claim the next Bitcoin price target by December 31st is $8,000. Not an unlikely scenario, depending on how the SegWit2x hard fork decides to mess things up. Unprecedented price growth will always lead to corrections and reversals.

The Bitcoin price has always been a good reason to get excited. After years of hardship, things are finally falling into place. This year alone, we have seen the Bitcoin value increase fivefold. For all intents and purposes, this momentum doesn’t appear to be over just yet. It is remarkable how the world’s leading cryptocurrency is making such major moves. Multiple corrections and regulatory actions in multiple countries have zero lasting effect these days.

Bitcoin Price Trend Remains Mega-Bullish

According to The Sun Daily, we can expect more of the same in the next two months. The outlet claims the Bitcoin price will hit $8,0000 before the year is over. A likely scenario, although there is still a lot of work to be done. More importantly, there is a question as to whether or not this momentum can be maintained. A one-day Bitcoin price swing above $8,000 isn’t solid momentum by any means. Then again, no one knows how this market will evolve.

FXTM’s Jameel Ahmad comments as follows:

“There’s serious volatility in bitcoin. There are moments where bitcoin can drop by 5%-6% and obviously for investors, that is a huge concern. The significant risk around bitcoin and everyone who’s considering in investing cryptocurrency, you have to be aware of this risk. I’ve never seen an instrument or asset moves so much. It is rallying about 500% year-to-date.”

It is certainly true the Bitcoin price is doing remarkable things. No other financial asset comes even close to its potential right now. No one should be surprised by this, though. Bitcoin isn’t like any other form of money the world has ever seen before. It lacks all privacy and anonymity traits one may like. For that, there are a few altcoins worth considering. Unfortunately, those markets are increasingly bearish right now. A reckoning of some sorts will come eventually. The only question is which currencies will survive and which will perish.

Most cryptocurrency enthusiasts are well aware of how currencies work. More specifically, people know Bitcoin transactions don’t always represent purchases or payments for services rendered. In most cases, funds are being moved to and from exchange or mining rewards are distributed. If the number of transactions per day goes down, that is not necessarily something to worry about. This affects all major currencies and is not a sign of any bubble whatsoever.

Cryptocurrencies do not derive their value from the number of network transactions. While such transfers are an indication of people effectively using said currency, it doesn’t tell the whole story. More specifically, when the number of transactions goes down, there is no real reason to panic. This cycle occurs on a rather regular basis and will affect every major cryptocurrency. Right now, it seems Bitcoin and Ethereum are going through such a period once again.

A Lower Number of Transactions per Day is Normal

Moreover, we have seen some major price movements affecting all currencies as well. These past few weeks have seen interesting value increases and decreases for Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other currencies. When that happens, the number of transactions per day, is also on the decline it seems. Again, a lot of people own cryptocurrency for speculative purposes or are long-term believers. While it would be good to see more people spend cryptocurrency, it’s not most users’ priority by the look of things.

To the uneducated individual, this may be a sign of a bubble waiting to pop. People who have been involved in cryptocurrency for several years have gotten used to such cycles. They will occur at least two or three times per year, but they always iron themselves out again. Especially with the holidays drawing near, we will see more transactions again moving forward. In the Bitcoin world, the activation of SegWit has also made it far cheaper to complete transfers again. There is no reason not to spend BTC unless you really don’t need to in the first place.

Moreover, just because Bitcoin sees fewer transactions per day doesn’t mean altcoins benefit from it. It is a trend that seems to affect all currencies at almost the same time. So far, there has not been an official explanation for it, although there are multiple theories to be found. Moreover, every network sees a lot of “noise” transactions as well. When those aren’t as prevalent as before, the difference can be rather severe. For the time being, there is no reason for concern whatsoever. That doesn’t mean we won’t benefit from an increasing number of transactions per day, though.

Merchants and other stakeholders within the financial ecosystem are gradually realizing that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are an inevitable part of the payment landscape.

As the traditional world meets the crypto world, consumers will require interfaces between these two. These interfaces serve as the bridge connecting both ecosystems and consequently become a vital aspect in the maturity of the crypto world.

Crypto Is Growing Due to Demand

After several setbacks, the recovery rates of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies goes ahead to prove the inevitability of their continuous growth.

With novel blockchain products being developed on a daily basis, the demand for the original cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin continues to rise. This is primarily due to the fact that the more established cryptos like Bitcoin and Ethereum offer entry points into the bigger world of cryptocurrencies. However, to access these more established cryptocurrencies using the more traditional fiat currencies, interfaces provided by payment gateways must be applied.

Interfaces provided by Cryptopay

One of the oldest companies that have provided user interfaces to achieve a two-way interaction between crypto and fiat currencies is Cryptopay.

Some of the products provided by Cryptopay since its inception in 2013 are:

  • Cryptopay Debit Card and soon to come credit card, linked to a CPay Wallet;
  • Contactless payments (NFC) integrated with AndroidPay & ApplePay;
  • Mobile wallet currently providing the ability to load with Bitcoin (BTC) and in the very near future other blockchain based assets like Ether (ETH), Ripple (XRP), and Litecoin (LTC) to name a few.

As online merchandise continues to expand, these products that improve the convenience of payment settlements are becoming more widely embraced, leading to significant growth of the entire crypto ecosystem as is reflected in the market capitalization and volume of trade within the markets.

Other products that are currently being developed by Cryptopay include:

  • Current accounts and banking services, where Cryptopay will either partner or invest in its own banking license in order to provide more sophisticated banking services to its customers.
  • Brokerage services that will enable Cryptopay to add the ability to buy and sell exchange-traded equities from all major exchanges, holding them in the user’s online flex accounts.  Trading between equities and cryptocurrencies at the click of a button allows customers to diversify their holdings and of course, adds revenue streams to Cryptopay.
  • Credit cards and loan/overdraft facilities will also become possible once Cryptopay achieves full banking status.
  • Cryptopay is developing a P2P marketplace with full stack blockchain fundraising platform and financial services within a single Cryptopay account. It will include handcrafted ICO underwriting and bookrunning, fixed income instruments and variety of other options.

A Community Motivated ICO

The viability of Cryptopay’s existing products and the forecast of those under development has motivated users on its platform to demand an Initial Coin Offering (ICO). This move by the users is to provide them with an opportunity of buying into the Cryptopay asset as a profitable venture.

In response to this demand, the company is embarking on an ICO which is slated to kick off on October 2, 2017. However, the ICO being launched by Cryptopay goes beyond just demand from its users as the company elaborates its objectives for embarking on the token sales as:

  • A publicity campaign and a great marketing opportunity for the company.
  • Opportunity to create an active community of backers that will help drive adoption of the CPay platform.
  • A cost-effective mechanism for raising funds for development and expansion.
  • An opportunity to engage with the community and build products in consultation with token holders and the community – delivering products that are best-of-breed to customers.

With the already existing products and many more that will follow in the future, crypto users are bound to expect more flexibility and simplified avenues of application of their assets. Also, the convenience that cryptocurrencies offer to merchants in terms of cost, speed, options, and versatility in payment processes single them out as some of the highest beneficiaries of the novel technology.

Bitcoin (BTC) is the poster child of digital currency. It dominates the trading arena, with a market cap of some $70 billion, in a digital currency market worth an estimated $145 billion. While these precise values can whipsaw wildly from day-to-day, Bitcoin remains a dominant force in cryptocurrency. However, while all the focus tends to be on BTC, there is an entire market of opportunities available to traders in alternative digital currency options. All these other digital currencies are known collectively as ‘Altcoins’ since they are alternatives to Bitcoin. Contrary to popular belief, several Altcoins have performed far better than Bitcoin in recent times.

While Bitcoin has languished through all sorts of growing pains as traders attempt to understand blockchain technology and smart contracts, new alternatives are evolving with better technology, enhanced security, and superior processing speeds. Traders with an eye to incorporating digital currencies as part of their investment portfolios are increasingly looking towards Altcoins as a viable option. The strict definition of an Altcoin is a digital currency other than Bitcoin. The FinTech sector is rapidly creating an ever-increasing number of digital currencies, each one improving upon the shortcomings of the last. The blockchain technology that characterizes digital currencies is unique in every way. It is designed to prevent single points of failure, with every user on the peer-to-peer network having a say in how transactions are processed.

Altcoins and Decentralized Blockchain Tech

Cryptocurrency experts claim that blockchain technology functions the way the Internet was initially designed to function – in a completely decentralised way. The relative anonymity provided by this technology ensures that transactions can be processed without third-party intervention, oversight and involvement. Since no central bank is regulating the actions of smart contracts, everything is incumbent upon the sender and the receiver to complete transactions.

One of the issues that led to the evolution of hundreds of unique Altcoins is the failure of Bitcoin to rapidly process large numbers of transactions. Compared to credit card companies like Visa, Discover, American Express, and MasterCard, Bitcoin’s scalability is rather limited. This means that the block size is limited. That’s precisely why the hard fork occurred with Bitcoin and it divided up into Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCC) in August 2017.

Ethereum is one of the hottest new digital currencies on the market, and its performance has outstripped that of Bitcoin by a long margin. Consider that at the start of 2017, Ether was trading at just $8.24, and it is appreciated several thousand percent since then. Other popular options include Litecoin, Dogecoin, Ripple, DASH, NEM, Ethereum Classic, Monero, Decred, PIVX, and scores of others. These digital currencies typically raise money in the financial markets by issuing the share equivalent of an IPO, known as an ICO. An ICO is an initial coin offering which sells digital tokens on the market.

Groundswell of Support for Cryptocurrency Options

Cryptocurrency companies raise the necessary financing to generate a huge capital cushion to perfect their trading platforms, blockchain technology, and product offerings. Several countries around the world have fully regulated digital currency trading, including the Philippines and South Korea. Other territories, countries, and blocs that have issued legal status or not banned Bitcoin and Altcoins include the European Union, Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Canada, the United States, Mexico and Nicaragua, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and others. China dented prospects for cryptocurrency listings with a ruling that no ICO’s would be permitted for digital currency on the markets. This resulted in a temporary setback in the surging price levels of Altcoins. Fortunately, the increasing popularity of digital currency vis-à-vis blockchain technology means that Altcoins are here to stay.

Central banks of many countries with considerable Bitcoin usage are in the process of drafting cryptocurrency regulations. The South African Reserve Bank is one among them. According to recent reports, the country’s central bank has decided to go ahead and test these regulations before making them permanent.

The trial of a number of new regulations is expected to start in the next few months. A report on one of the South African business magazines states that the government is working closely with some of the players in the country’s cryptocurrency and blockchain ecosystem to come up with legislation to govern the usage of cryptocurrencies in the country. The report states Loerien Gamaroff, the CEO of Bankymoon — a blockchain solutions provider saying that their company is in talks with the central bank to implement the new regulations in a sandbox -mode.

In other words, Bankymoon will try to implement and follow the new regulations on a trial basis and offer feedback to the government about its effectiveness and suggest improvements if any is required. The company’s relationship with the South African Reserve Bank is not new as Bankymoon has already conducted workshops and seminars on cryptocurrencies, its usage and the importance of blockchain technology on many occasions.During the course of which, it has maintained contact with the country’s central bank.

Gamaroff, mentioning the new regulations and his company’s role in the trials said,

“All we are doing at this point is seeing how far this relationship will go on with this sandbox… This is because the Reserve Bank is very hesitant to give a stamp of approval on anything that comes out. The sandbox will only be Bitcoin-focused during this initial phase, but is focused on applying broad regulations to all cryptocurrencies.”

South Africa and other nations in the African continent have a significant cryptocurrency penetration. Many alternative financial services are currently using Bitcoin and other altcoins to bridge the gap left by the traditional financial service providers. The growth of cryptocurrency usage without proper oversight could lead to a rise in frauds and scams, causing massive losses to individuals.

The South African Reserve Bank seems to be handling the situation in the right way, by testing the regulations before implementing it. It will not only make sure the rules are beneficial to the end user but also ensures that legitimate businesses stay unaffected.

Ref: BusinessTech | Image: NewsBTC

Cryptocurrencies are now finding an attractive use case in the startup ecosystems., But this time it doesn’t concern Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency related products and services. Many technology startups across the world are gradually shifting to cryptocurrency crowdsales and ICOs for raising the much-required funds.

The ICOs and crowdsale, where individuals and institutions opt to buy cryptotokens issued by a startup or a project makes fundraising much simpler for entrepreneurs and reduces the risk burden associated with investments into startups for venture capital and angel investors. The shifting trend also has a name, “Token Economy”.

In most cases, a majority of the funds raised by the companies opting for an ICO comes from thousands of individual investors, summing up to millions of dollars in the form of various cryptocurrencies. In return, these investors receive cryptotokens, which can be traded for other cryptocurrencies or exchanged to fiat in the future. Some startups also offer additional perks to early participants, as an incentive and a symbol of appreciation for their belief in the product/startup.

A leading financial news media outlet has quoted Balaji Srinivasan, the founder of 21 Inc., and partner at venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz saying,

“[token-based systems] may eventually create and capture more value than the last generation of Internet companies.”

The extent of influence exerted by cryptocurrencies on mainstream tech businesses is made evident by Kik Interactive. The company behind Kik multiplatform chat application recently announced its plans to introduce Kin cryptocurrency that can be used for in-app fund transfer and purchases. The platform will be soon launching an ICO for its tokens. The ICO will not only help the platform launch a new feature but also raise the required funds to establish and maintain liquidity.

The reduced regulatory headaches associated with ICOs and crowdsales also make it an attractive option for startups as they don’t have to navigate through the legal red tape and other issues just to raise funds required for sustained operations. However, the article also warns about few exceptions, where certain ICOs and crowdsales may be subject to regulations if the tokens are seen as an equivalent to equity/shares of the company.

To prevent any confusion, startups opting for an ICO are suggested to create carefully tailored campaigns which state the intentions and mode of usage of tokens thus procured by the investors.

The adoption of cryptotokens by entrepreneurs and startups as an alternative to conventional fundraising techniques not only helps them take a decentralized approach. It also encourages increased adoption of altcoins and blockchain technology across industries.

Ref: Fortune | Image: NewsBTC