Germany’s Tourism Board Accepts Bitcoin Payments

The German National Tourism Board has announced that it accepts cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin for its services. The organization promotes German travel destinations with offices in 32 countries around the world. GNTB also intends to implement blockchain technologies in its finances. “We want to be a global innovation driver in the tourism industry,” its chairperson recently stated.  

Accepting Bitcoin to Drive Innovation

Services offered by the German National Tourism Board (GNTB) can now be paid in cryptocurrency. The organization which promotes Germany as a travel destination accepts bitcoin payments from March this year, according to a press release. It also announced “medium-term” plans to test blockchain technologies in the processing of its international financial transactions.

Germany’s Tourism Board Accepts Bitcoin Payments

“Within our digitization strategy, we are constantly examining the latest technologies and considering their application in our organization,” said GNTB‘s Chair Petra Hedorfer. “By accepting cryptocurrencies as means of payment and with the possible implementation of the blockchain technology in our finances, we want to position ourselves as an innovation driver in the tourism industry,” she added.

The blockchain technology offers “interesting perspectives” in regards to the speed, transparency and security of financial transfers, the Board also notes. The announcement recognizes the “potential for tremendous improvements and savings” in international transactions.

Promoting the Bundesrepublik

For over six decades, the German National Tourism Board has been working to promote internationally travel opportunities in the the Federal Republic. It is constantly developing new marketing strategies and concepts based on specific themes, events and attractions. These are implemented under the “Destination Germany” brand that has been introduced on multiple markets around the globe.

GNTB says it is actively involved in efforts to optimize the marketing activities of its partners – German travel companies, commerce and trade associations. It also participates in sales activities in immerging and growing markets in order to increase the volume of tourist traffic and boost foreign currency receipts.

Germany’s Tourism Board Accepts Bitcoin Payments

The Board is attempting to position Germany as a diverse and attractive travel destination, but also strengthen the country’s profile as a business location. To achieve that it offers an array of services in cooperation with German businesses – from transport and accommodation, to shopping opportunities and tourist attractions.

The German National Tourism Board was founded by the Bundestag. It represents the country on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. GNTB is headquartered in Frankfurt am Main and maintains offices in 32 countries around the world.

Leading in Adoption

Authorities in the major European economy have taken a relatively soft approach towards cryptocurrencies. Recently, Germany’s Federal Ministry of Finance announced that bitcoin should not be taxed when exchanged and used as means of payment. Its clarification notice effectively recognizes the most popular crypto as a currency. Bafin, Germany’s financial regulator, has advised investors in initial coin offerings to refer to regulations applicable to traditional financial instruments and comply with current requirements.

Decisions like these have created favorable conditions for bitcoin adoption in the country. Last year Germany’s largest food delivery portal, Lieferando.de, announced it had started accepting bitcoin payments, as news.Bitcoin.com reported. The company is owned by Takeaway.com BV which operates numerous online delivery services across Europe. This month German crypto media announced that Lieferando’s customers can now pay their orders in bitcoin cash, as well.

What You Need To Know About Cryptocurrency Wallets

“At their core, cryptocurrencies are built around the principle of a universal, inviolable ledger, one that is made fully public and is constantly being verified by these high-powered computers, each essentially acting independently of the others.” – Paul Vigna

Cryptocurrency Wallets:

The place where you store your coins is called a cryptocurrency wallet. That simply means that you have a software address where coins are stored with a secret key to access them.

The address and key may be stored electronically or via paper as long as you save it and remember where you put it.

A wallet can be online or offline. Online wallets can one of two types – first is a wallet that is accessible at various locations, second is a wallet stored on your PC. The offline wallet can be an equipment- based wallet. This is much the same as a memory card or garbage drive that can be accessed using a USB port.

As cryptocurrency depends on code, the most secure method to protect your wallet is the paper-based option.

Without cryptographic money wallets, coins would be nothing as it’s the main way people embrace advanced currency standards. Cryptocurrency wallets are similar to the wallets that most of us have to carry cash and credit cards. Essentially, these wallets enable people to own cryptocurrency.

What Are The Best Cryptocurrency Wallets?

Just like banks have account names and numbers; cryptographic currencies have addresses to each wallet on the blockchain. That wallet has a public address and a private address.

The public address is where you acquire tokens or altcoins. The private address gives you access to your wallet to send tokens or altcoins.

Types Of Wallets:

*Hardware wallets: Holds your “private keys” offline in what’s called “cold storage”. This mean there is no linkage to the web. This secures your wallet against malignant programmers/programming.

A hardware wallet is set up with what’s known as a “seed expression“. This is a series of words (which are unique to you) that help you regain access to a wallet should you lose or damage it. Setting up a hardware wallet is simple, just connect it to a USB port then download the related programming.

*Desktop wallets: Downloaded and kept on a computer. This type of wallet can often offer high levels of security. That said, if your PC is hacked or infected with a virus it’s highly probable that you will lose your currency.

*Online wallets: Run on the cloud and are accessible from any device. in any location. Online wallets store your private keys on the web and are controlled by a third party. This, unfortunately, makes them defenseless against hackers and theft.

*Paper wallets: Easy to use and have a high level of security. One can also refer to a piece of software that is used to securely generate a pair of keys that you need to print. If you want to withdraw or spend currency you simply exchange your coins from your paper wallet to your product wallet.

Do You Need a Wallet For Each Cryptocurrency?

Yes, it is absolutely necessary.

Each specific Cryptocurrency requires it’s own digital wallet where coins can be stored. There are many types of digital wallets such as desktop wallets, mobile wallets, web-based wallets, etc.

At first, wallets can certainly be difficult to keep track of if you invested in multiple currencies. Why? You require a different wallet for each coin, which is time consuming and requires space.

With the huge demand and awareness now of cryptocurrencies, the wallet process has been refined and simplified. Extensive time and effort has been invested to make the system more effective and efficient.

Factors To Consider When Choosing a Cryptocurrency Wallet

*Compatibility: The wallet should be compatible with different operating systems.

*Security features: Security features are the prominent issue when choosing a cryptocurrency wallet. Therefore, it’s best to seed backup keys and pin codes first.

*Regulate private keys: A cryptocurrency wallet is where you can store and secure your private keys.

There is no such thing as a single wallet that stores every kind of coin. You will have to determine which wallets you need based on which coins you own.

It is extremely important that crypto holders never share their wallet password or private key with anyone.

To emphasize, when you send or receive coins you only need to share your public cryptocurrency wallet address.

Mining Coins – What Does It Mean?

“[Bitcoin] is a remarkable cryptographic achievement… The ability to create something which is not duplicable in the digital world has enormous value…Lot’s of people will build businesses on top of that.” – Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google.

By now, almost everyone has heard of cryptocurrency like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Most people, however, may not know how the Blockchain protocol generates new coins nor how the network operates relative to mining coins.

Mining coins and running the platform is the job of miners, aka the node operators.

Cryptocurrency Transactions
Currencies like Bitcoin run on a Blockchain operated by independent mining operators from around the world. When a person with Bitcoins in their wallet wants to make a transaction, they send a query to the miners to authenticate the transfer.

Miners check the amount of coins on the IP address, as noted in the ledger. If enough coins are available, the system tries to resolve the query. The most efficient method is calculating the hash rate.

The same calculation simultaneously takes place over hundreds of other connected nodes.

Cryptocurrency protocols are designed so that it takes a specific amount of time for the query to be successfully resolved. For example, the time it takes for a Bitcoin query to be resolved is set at ten minutes.

The first mining computer that finds the correct solution adds it to the blockchain. The updated ledger is then sent to other miners on the network for authentication.

When the transaction is verified by a majority of nodes, it is updated to the ledger. The mining system that found the correct solution, or hash rate, earns a fraction of the coins from the transaction.

Mining Coins
Mining operations are responsible for two main functions, generating new coins and authenticating transactions for existing coins.

New coins are generated for most cryptocurrencies by solving a complex mathematical problem similar to authenticating transfers. The objective is to find the most efficient way to add a new block to the ledger. Additionally, the goal is to find the method that gives the least possible incremental value.

The first mining computer that finds the correct code is awarded with a small amount of newly generated coins. Those coins are then added to the total amount in circulation.

Difficulty in Mining Coins
Cryptocurrency developers add a degree of difficulty, and cost, into running a mining operation as more miners get into the business. The model is designed based on real world business situations.

Industries that are highly competitive have more barriers to entry and lower profit margins for each business. Those with few sellers tend to give a very high return on investment.

Mining requires advanced level computational resources such as high-end processors and graphics cards. Buying and operating these resources have a cost that the miner must bear.

Take the Bitcoin design for instance. When the value of Bitcoin rises, mining becomes a great way to generate an income based on the fractional reward system.

When investors see a greater profit in mining coins compared to their day job, they tend to purchase the equipment necessary to become miners. That will increase the operational capacity of the system.

But as more people join the business, the hash rate calculation becomes more difficult. This requires a more advanced level of machinery. Profits are balanced when the cost for each competing miner increases due to scalability issues.

Miners will be forced to stop mining coins when it becomes impossible for them to meet costs.

This self correcting system lies at the heart of all cryptocurrencies, which keeps the market from over saturating with mining operations.

Mining Coins – What Does It Mean?

Tennessee Now Recognizes Blockchain and Smart Contracts

Tennessee becomes the latest state to recognize blockchain technology and smart contracts, also known as “executable distributed code contracts.”

According to Senate Bill (SB) 1662, which was unanimously passed in the Tennessee House and Senate and signed into law by Republican governor Bill Haslam, “No contract relating to a transaction shall be denied legal effect, validity, or enforceability solely because that contract contains a smart contract term.”

Tennessee now joins Wyoming in recognizing blockchain-based electronic records for legal purposes.

This may open the door to further legislation for cryptocurrency and ICOs since blockchain is the foundation to which they are built.

Top companies that turn to blockchain in their operations

Although many experts are predicting the likely burst of the crypto market bubble, many companies are still pivoting toward crypto blockchain platforms. Some companies simply want to cash-in on the crypto craze while others want to make their operations more updated and efficient.

In November of last year, mere three months ago, the total market cap of cryptocurrencies inflated in excess of 1,200 percent. This attracted huge investments from regular venture capital and private equity investors. The total market cap climbed to a dizzying height of $558 billion last Jan. 10. In just 24 hours, it had a trading volume of approximately $24.8 billion. Obviously, a market bubble is there.

Many companies are aware of the crypto bubble, and their main reason for pivoting to blockchain is its great potential for sharing and managing data. Some companies are not necessarily intent on riding the initial inflation of the bubble.

Here are some companies that are leveraging their market positions by utilizing the blockchain platform. Some of these companies originally did not use the blockchain system while others use the system as an integral part of their operations and thrust from inception.

NASDAQ

As a provider of equity market index, Nasdaq Inc. (NASDAQ:NDAQ) belongs to the largest companies that are now harnessing the full potential of blockchain. It is a company that has a market cap of $7 trillion. It combines financial expertise and technology to aid investors in trading in the global financial market.

The NASDAQ Private Market was established in 2013 with the aim of aiding corporations in doing secondary transactions. In 2015, the company announced its first securities transactions based on blockchain technology. The company has its own ledger platform, which is the Ling Blockchain.

Hitachi

Hitachi (OTCMKTS:HTHIY) is known for many things like appliances and electronic gadgets. It is also known for its bullet trains, but it is a company not very well-known to be connected with blockchain investments.

In reality, however, this company has been researching the technology since the beginning of 2000s. That actually predates the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. Hitachi is an innovator when it comes to automatic cross-system processes using blockchain. Over the years, It has improved on smart contracts using the system.

Global Blockchain

Global Blockchain (OTCMKTS:BLKCF, TSXV:BLOC), which has a market cap of around $100.6 million, is focused on blockchain technology as the primary thrust of its business. It is an investment company that also provides incubation programs. Apart from helping investors invest in crypto companies, BLOC also provides aid to startup companies in terms of liquidity and capitalization. It seeks to have a balance between stable investments and investments with high potential for growth.

Daimler AG

Perhaps not many would expect that Daimler AG (OTCMKTS:DDAIF), the German car manufacturer, is engaged in blockchain business. It partnered with LBBW and launched a Schuldschein, a one-year corporate bond worth €100 million. The entire transaction process utilized blockchain technology, which include the loan contract and the payment of interest. It is also looking into the possibility of auto financing using the crypto platform.

PayPal Is Seeking Faster Crypto Payments Tech – CoinDesk

Looks like PayPal wants to move crypto faster. 

An application for an “Expedited Virtual Currency Transaction System” published on March 1 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) details a method by which private keys – the strings of numbers and letters used to transact or otherwise control one’s cryptocurrency holdings – are swapped from a buyer to a seller behind the scenes.

The aim of the concept is to narrow the amount of time it takes for payments to go through between a consumer and a merchant, avoiding the process of sending a transaction and waiting for it to be included in the next block on the network. To do this, PayPal proposed a way to create secondary wallets with their own unique private keys for buyers and sellers. The system would transfer private keys corresponding to an exact amount of any given cryptocurrency.

As the filing explains:

“The systems and methods of the present disclosure practically eliminate the amount of time the payee must wait to be sure they will receive a virtual currency payment in a virtual currency transaction by transferring to the payee private keys that are included in virtual currency wallets that are associated with predefined amounts of virtual currency that equal a payment amount identified in the virtual currency transaction.”

The submission is a notable one, coming years after PayPal announced partnerships with several bitcoin payment processors that allowed merchants to accept the cryptocurrency through the company’s Payments Hub starting in 2014.

Quantcast

ICO coming for mining on phone app

When I first heard about mining on smartphones, I was almost certain it was some kind of scam. 

I was WRONG!

I thought mining was just a lot of hardware horsepower doing hard math. The guys at Phoneum set me straight. I signed on as an advisor and have watched the Alpha community explode with activity during the initial limited rollout. 

Here’s an intro one page from Phoneum. More at Phoneum.io 

How blockchain and AI will transform healthcare

The blockchain and AI revolutions are converging on the healthcare Industry, with the partnership announcement from Longenesis, a blockchain-based Life Data Marketplace, and Neuromation, a blockchain and distributed synthetic data platform for deep learning applications.

Neuromation recently raised over $70 million through a token generating event (TGE) to develop a system for generation of the synthetic data using the deep neural networks trained on the large number of examples and using the processing power of the many graphics processing units (GPUs) in the blockchain community.

“Here at Neuromation, our mission is to help companies use our platform to carry out all their data analysis faster and cheaper than anywhere in the world,” said Maxim Prasolov, the CEO of Neuromation. “In our opinion all industries, including healthcare, will benefit tremendously from a flexible, blockchain-based research platform. Our partnership with Longenesis represents this huge potential.” Prasolov plans to quickly scale his company’s platform by rewarding GPU miners for using Neuromation’s computational power to mine this synthetic data.

The Neuromation plan to offer more accessible, affordable, and democratized AI analysis is as noble an aspiration as the Longenesis plan to help individuals take charge of their own personal data. Longenesis empower – instead of corporations – to store and monetize their own data, including their blood test results, medical history, genetic profile and other sensitive, increasingly valuable information.in a blockchain-based marketplace.

Both companies are developing revolutionary ecosystems using blockchain technologies.

“Our goal is to create a new, data-driven economy and we’re excited to partner with Neuromation to move one step closer to our goal,” said Alex Zhavoronkov, PhD, CSO of Longenesis Limited. “Our collaboration will be two-fold. First, we’ll train the deep neural networks we need processing power and we are looking to repurpose the cryptocurrency mining equipment to do that. Second, to generate synthetic data, we must train on large data sets of real-world data and have balanced and diverse data sets. Neuromation is an obvious consumer of data and can be a part of the marketplace.” Added Prasolov, “The primary aim of Longenesis is to create a global data marketplace that will help provide personalized but at the same time secure data for healthcare application developers. Hence, the missions of Neuromation and Longenesis are perfectly complementary to each other. Together we will bring to AI practitioners in medicine and healthcare both the data and the computational power needed to train AI models and improve healthcare throughout the world. By announcing this partnership, we are laying the foundation for the future world of individualized healthcare based on artificial intelligence.”

A recent study suggests the Neuromation/Longenesis partnership will be well received in the healthcare industry. “Healthcare Rallies for Blockchain”, a study from IBM, found that 16% of surveyed healthcare executives plan to implement a commercial blockchain solution this year, while 56% expect to do so by 2020. The disruptive effect industry executives hope the technology will have on healthcare will arise from the creation of a common database of health information that doctors and providers can access from any electronic medical system. Healthcare data, protected in an encrypted, blockchain-based digital ledger, will deliver higher security and greater privacy for patients as well as less administrative work for doctors who can then can focus more on patient care. Blockchain principles even promise to foster better sharing of medical research which will, in turn, prompt new drug and treatment therapies to fight age-related disease.

The blockchain visionaries at Neuromation and Longenesis are confident that by bridging their ecosystems they’ll be able to expand blockchain services to healthcare companies who never thought they could afford AI-driven research and individuals who never thought they would ever take control of their own personal data.

Start up Addresses the Gig Economy

GigApp is a new company tackling an issue before it gets out of hand.

The future is going to have a lot more gigs instead of jobs, and we can use blockchain to make sure buyers get a good price and gigers get paid well for their gigs. 

This sort of decentralized disintermediation is where I see the most leverage, so I’ve signed on as an advisor. 

Get on their mailing list and look forward to some exciting things coming

GigApp, LLC Announces Launch of GigApp.io

Chicago, IL (February 15, 2018) – GigApp, LLC has announced the launch of GigApp.io (a US
based project) that plans to transform the global marketplace by creating a decentralized
platform where users can buy and sell products or services with Gigcoin. GigApp will take
advantage of NEO smart contracts and the reward system to provide users with a truly
decentralized and autonomous marketplace.

GigApp will implement a system that will reward users for their contribution in its
marketplace’s social network and arbitration process. Unlike any other blockchain based
app/project, GigApp’s reward pool has a replenishment function built in which ensures that the
users are always rewarded.

Smart contract implementation in a marketplace allows for an escrow model to be build into
the application to create a secure transaction that is distributed autonomously upon agreement
of both customer and seller/provider.

For more information:

Contact: Marat Zalov
Phone: (630) 220-8541
team@gigapp.io

SHIFT.CASH brings blockchain to title loans

SHIFT.cash is a specialized platform for providing loans secured by cars. It is joined by car dealers, credit brokers, microfinance organizations, consumer credit cooperatives and other partner organizations from different regions. Having connected to the system, they can provide loans to their customers in unlimited amounts and at a lower interest rate: the platform helps to reduce processing costs and thereby offer loan conditions 20-60% better than the market average, depending on the region. Funds for loans are formed by contributors who receive their commission from each loan.

All processes are strictly regulated and managed by the system based on Ethereum Smart-Contracts and blockchain technology. For each loan and collateral, a separate block is created in the blockchain, which, as is known, is impossible to change. In addition, the system is integrated with the registers of pledges, which allows you to automatically encumber the vehicle.

There is already a mobile application SHIFT.cash, which estimates the cost of a car, determines the degree of its liquidity and calculates the maximum loan amount. The loan amount in SHIFT.cash does not exceed 35% of the market value of the car. Also, sophisticated software was developed to manage all business processes, which is synchronized with the application and the blockchain. Each partner connected to the system can monitor financial indicators and manage the lead generation.

The market for quick loans secured by car titles is already estimated at billions of dollars and is growing rapidly around the world, as is the number of car owners. At the same time, there are a number of problems: high interest rates on loans, despite the subject of collateral, the underdevelopment and fragmentation of the market, the absence of major global players.

Basically, due to the fact that this sector does not have access to “cheap” money.

We have long cherished the idea of how to make the process of investing in foreign companies as convenient and safe as possible. Blockchain solves this problem, – said the CEO of the project, Thomas Novak. – With the help of the blockchain platform SHIFT.cash one can invest exactly by the amount for which there is collateral, automatically adjust it to a greater or lesser extent.

SHIFT is not a newcomer in the field of secured lending. It was founded in Vienna in 2015. Later, the technology was introduced in the car pawn shops of Germany and France. Some time later, Thomas Novak, together with the partners and the team of IT developers, created an automated system for assessing the pledge of SHIFT.Appraisal, minimizing the human factor in this process. It was that that formed the basis of the SHIFT.cash platform.

To learn more about Shift.cash visit their Website: https://shift.cash
Read the WhitePaper: https://shift.cash/wp/shiftcash.en.pdf
Chat on Bitcoin Talk: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=2592700.0
Connect on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCV4IIcYZcihFw1FheFFhgFw
Meet the Team: https://shift.cash/team

Media Contact
Contact Name: Tomas Novak
Contact Email: pr@shift.cash

Shift.cash is the source of this content. Virtual currency is not legal tender, is not backed by the government, and accounts and value balances are not subject to consumer protections. This press release is for informational purposes only. The information does not constitute investment advice or an offer to invest.