Chinese Mining Pools Support SegWit2x and aim for Activation by July 31st

A lot of Bitcoin enthusiasts are looking forward to August 1st. On this day, we will see the activation of Segregated Witness through the user-activated soft fork. It remains unclear who will effectively support this solution, though. We do know a list has been published regarding companies support SegWit 2x. Interestingly enough, this includes virtually all Chinese mining pools. This group would like to see SegWit2x activate by July 31st at the latest.

It is not entirely surprising to see Chinese pools support SegWit2x. Bitcoin will need to scale one way or another. SegWit seems to be the best solution to do so. Moreover, this particular proposal may avoid the network split so many people are concerned about. It is not the official solution from Bitcoin Core, but Segwit2x is a more than viable alternative.

SegWit2x Gains Massive Support From Chinese Pools

Moreover, it is important to keep in mind SegWit2x could be compatible with the UASF, which activates on August 1st. It is good to see Chinese mining pools firmly state which solution they will support. No one will be surprised they didn’t choose the UASF route directly. Choosing Segwit2x was to be expected, yet it is an interesting decision nonetheless. Plus, no one knows if these pools will embrace the UASF even after SegWit2x has been activated.

Among the companies supporting SegWit2x are some big names. OKCoin, Huobi, Bitmain, F2Pool, and ViaBTC are among the companies favoring this solution. The group hopes to successfully activate this scaling solution before July 31st. Whether or not that is a manageable timeline, remains anybody’s guess right now. These pools clearly send a message to Bitcoin Core by pledging support to SegWit2x.

Even though this proposal is designed to prevent  a network split, it is still a possibility, though. Up until recently, most Chinese pools did not appear in favor of SegWit by any means. This situation has come to change since May of this year. However, if SegWit2x activates, it remains to be seen what the Bitcoin Core developers will do. It is certainly possible some will jump ship to alternative solutions, such as Litecoin.

Header image courtesy of Shutterstock

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A lot of people wonder where the sudden interest in cryptocurrencies is coming from. Rising prices certainly help to raise more awareness. However, it appears the global central bank woes are the biggest driving factor right now. Up until recently, demand for Bitcoin was small other than from a  speculative point of view. A recent Federal Reserve decision will drive more people to cryptocurrency in the future. Central banks are making the switch to Bitcoin a lot easier these days.

It is evident central banks around the world are slowly losing an uphill battle. Consumers are less eager to trust banks, for obvious reasons. Moreover, despite plenty of evidence suggesting otherwise, central banks feel printing more money is always the solution. Helicopter money has always been ineffective, now more than ever before. When financial turmoil occurs, investors do not buy bonds anymore. Instead, they flock to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

A Slippery Slope For Central Banks

The Federal Reserve plans to keep raising interest rates. On paper, this is a good idea for US consumers. In reality, however, things are very different. The US economy is not in a good place and raising interest rates will stress the economy even more. Moreover, these hikes will only be provided by printing more money. More money in circulation will ultimately lead to more investments in cryptocurrencies.

One thing that sets cryptocurrencies apart from central banks is how there is no inflation. At least, where Bitcoin is concerned, as other currencies may not follow the same path. Cash and traditional assets are in high demand to hedge against inflation. Bitcoin has a fixed market cap, although a number of coins in circulation will continue to grow until the year 2140. At the same time, Bitcoin can be seen as deflationary. Its purchasing power per unit increases, whereas cash has the opposite effect.

It is evident central banks have their work cut out for them. Printing more money is not a solution under any circumstance. It only makes matters worse for the local and global economy. If central banks continue down the path of helicopter money, they will effectively push people toward cryptocurrency. No one would mind that outcome, though. It is the due time people learn to take back control of their own wealth. Now is as good a time as any.

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Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) have become the most preferred way for startups and businesses, especially the ones in cryptocurrency industry to raise the necessary funds for product development and marketing. Unlike angel and VC funding, ICOs are open to the public, allowing them to contribute as much as they wish. The community will also act as the jury and decides whether the project is fit to receive a number of funds it is seeking through the campaign.

If a project is exciting and shows a lot of potential for growth or solves some of the important real-world problems, then it won’t have an issue in raising not just the required funds but a lot more than it. Bancor, the cryptocurrency based smart contract creation platform has proven just that by raising a record amount through its recently conducted crowdsale.

The Bancor Network is backed by the Ethereum contributions received from the ICO campaign, which will add value to the smart contracts and cryptocurrency platform. The Bancor protocol uses BNT as the medium of value exchange, and these very tokens will act as the reserve currency for smart tokens that are created over the protocol. The structure allows Bancor to ensure value in each step of the process without necessarily jeopardizing the users’ funds at any moment.

The protocol also allows users to easily exchange smart tokens created on Bancor with one another using its built-in price discovery and liquidity mechanism. According to the platform’s press release, the company has witnessed a participation of over 10855 buyers who made over 15000 transactions to buy a whopping 79,323,989 Bancor Network tokens

Of the total funds raised, the platform will be allocating 40% of it for dedicated software development, 20% for creating Ethereum reserves for BNT, 12 percent for marketing and business development, 10% for seeding token changes and ETF. Also, the platform will make use of about 8% of the amount raised for operational costs and rest for other miscellaneous costs,

Bancor has presented itself as a well-thought out project capable of solving various real-world needs, which made its ICO popular in the first place. In the near future, we can expect more such initiatives to take place as the number of new blockchain projects launched on a regular basis is on the rise.

Ref: Bancor Media Release | Image: NewsBTC

CoinPayments, the multi-cryptocurrency merchant payment, and online wallet service have updated its users about the steps taken to recover stolen Ripple tokens and compensate the affected parties. The update email was sent out to its customers earlier today, about a week after the loss of XRP tokens from its hot wallet was reported.

The latest email offers more details about the June 5, 2017, incident, with exact figures of the losses incurred by the company and the steps it has taken since then. The loss of XRP tokens was caused by a bug in the platform, which apparently allowed few people to withdraw more XRP than they actually held on the application. The flaw is said to have gone undetected for a while, allowing the users who discovered the loophole to take full advantage of it.

Soon after discovering the bug, CoinPayments refreshed the customer account balances to reflect the actual holding status of XRP on the platform, which in most cases turned out to be zero. According to the latest update, the company has lost over 21 million XRP to unauthorized withdrawals and attempts so far to get them back has received mixed results.

The developers at CoinPayments have since then worked on tracking the flow of funds, zeroing in on a handful of people who are suspected of siphoning off a majority of funds. The company, refusing to divulge the identities of the people suspected of stealing the funds has stated that it is working along with law enforcement agencies to resolve the issue. Meanwhile, the company is in the process of acquiring XRP from Ripple Inc’s OTC purchase desk.

The company has diverted most of the funds from its corporate liquidity along with contributions from the promoters to procure the required amount of XRP at a fixed price from Ripple Inc. However, until the transaction from CoinPayments is executed, the company won’t be able to reimburse the tokens to those who lost them.

CoinPayments has insisted that it wants to ensure transparency in the complete process of procuring and reimbursing the lost XRPs. If everything goes well, the XRP holders who lost the tokens on the wallet platform can start breathing easy from next week.

Ref: CoinPayments | Image: NewsBTC

Disclosure: The author is one of the CoinPayments user who was affected by the XRP token incident.

Jordan Wong is having a busy day at work. The game developer is only a few days away from launching the ICO campaign of his game project, iDice. Our knowledge of this new project is very little, but we have a certain understanding about its possible outcome. An Ethereum project – in fact, one of the many Ethereum projects – which is proposing to “revolutionize” gambling with decentralized smart contracts technology. It sounds too familiar for a moment, and we start to think of having only a few usual questions for Jordan, given he has only provided us a 15-minute window. A conversation begins:

NewsBTC: Gambling ICOs have begun to feel like an overpopulated sector all of a sudden. What separates iDice from the rest?

Jordan: iDice is the world’s first mobile gambling app. As a matter of fact, we are primarily focused on mobile development. Right now, there isn’t a single mobile gambling app that exists. Users have to deal with really clumsy and unoptimized mobile versions of desktop apps in order to play any of these games. I think the mobile gambling segment is a huge market that’s been neglected. When I first came up with the idea of a mobile gambling app, I was really surprised to see that there was nothing like it that existed.

Mobile devices make up around 68% of all internet traffic, and users in the US spend 71% of their digital minutes on their smartphones. That is a lot of potentials and a huge opportunity for us. iDice will essentially have a monopoly over this huge market that everyone else has been ignoring. We don’t expect this monopoly to last forever, but it will give us a lot of time to develop our platform further by introducing other game types. We will years ahead of the competition and be able to develop the iDice brand as the leader of mobile gambling.

But don’t you think a gambling-based mobile Dapp could always face resilience from marketplaces like Apple Store?

We expect to see this type of resistance from the Apple app store and Google Play. Their guidelines on apps are extremely tight. We don’t plan on releasing our app through central marketplaces, as it goes against the philosophy of what Ethereum is. Ethereum is a decentralized currency that isn’t controlled by any one entity. We plan to circumvent the strict regulations by letting users download our app straight from our site and installing it as a third party application. Android users are able to do this pretty easily by simply allowing 3rd party installations on their phone settings. iPhone users have to bypass Apple through a process called sideloading. It’s going to be a very secure and 100% process. We plan to have our app 3rd party audited and verified before it’s released. We’ll have a very detailed guide on our site on how to do this for all of our Apple users once our iDice mobile app is released.

How do you plan to attract the non--Ethereum, non-Bitcoin gaming population to your app?

As you know, a lot of countries outlaw gambling. I think Ethereum and Bitcoin actually provide the residents of these countries a loophole for them to gamble. It’s completely decentralized and can’t be controlled by the government. As a matter of fact, we have gotten a lot of interest from Chinese investors who believe that our app will be a huge success in China since gambling is illegal there. It will be hard for governments to censor our app once it is released. All it takes is someone to post it on the internet and all of a sudden, millions of people have access to it. We’re not encouraging people to break their local laws regarding this, but I think in a way, we’re converting a lot of non-Ethereum and non-bitcoin people into believers of the idea of cryptocurrency. They see that they are being oppressed in an unjust way and they are able to enjoy things that they normally couldn’t. I think our app will be very successful in countries with strict laws and regulations.

What are the benefits for people who participate in iDice ICO?

People who participate in our crowdsale will get iDice tokens. These are standard ERC 20 smart contracts that we’ve coded to split the profits of our gambling games. They’re like preferred shares that pay out dividends. iDice token holders have the right to a portion of iDice’s total profit. That also includes the official release of iDice mobile and desktop platforms. It’s a great way to invest in the Ethereum since token holders have our house edge on their side. They’re statistically likely to make a positive return on their investment.

And how is the security of their funds ensured?

We don’t touch our players’ funds at any point, nor do we have any server side architecture other than our web-hosting servers. Our players can play on iDice mobile and desktop versions by directly sending their Ether to the game address. The game itself is a smart contract that computes the result of the game through an oracle that provides random numbers from This makes us hack-proof if any malicious 3rd parties try to steal our players’ funds. We’re not an online wallet. We don’t get any of your private keys or any of our player’s info. We don’t require our players to make any sort of accounts or fund anything. They can just open the app or website and start playing immediately. It’s a very secure and simple process.

My final question is my most concerned one: how do you ensure provably fair gaming? What kind of PRNG methods are applied to ensure an unguessable outcome?

This is a great question. For one, our source code is open source. Anyone can look at it on Because everything is coded on the smart contract and running on the Ethereum blockchain, we are completely trustless. We use an open source blockchain based Oracle called to retrieve random numbers generated by through TLSNotary. The iDice contract then performs encryption on the number and the IPFS address of the TLSNotary proof to compute the game result.

Because we’re using trusted 3rd parties like, we can remain provably fair. This method is the safest and fairest method to generate random numbers without any sort of 3rd party interference of the game’s final result.