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Binance Opens Its First Crypto-Fiat Exchange in Uganda

Jun 29, 2018 at 02:00 UTC  |  Updated  Jun 29, 2018 at 12:00 UTC

The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange has just launched a fiat trading pair in Uganda.

Binance, the largest exchange by volume according to CoinMarketCap, announced Thursday that it was starting a fiat-crypto trading pair with the Uganda shilling. Moreover, the company also announced its first fiat crypto exchange in the nation, called Binance Uganda, according to a statement.

The exchange will charge zero trading fees when it comes online, though Binance declined to state when that would be. However, the first 20,000 users to register with the service will receive 0.5 binance coins (BNB) as “appreciation” for their support, according to the statement.

The tokens will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis but users who wish to withdraw their tokens must complete identification verification procedures after the platform is launched, according to the announcement.

The launch marks Binance’s latest steps in expanding cryptocurrency trading in the underbanked country. Only 33 percent of Ugandans actively use their registered financial accounts in 2016, according to a study by Financial Inclusion Insights, a data-collection organization which focuses on trends in the digital financial services industry.

The Hong Kong-based exchange also has announced plans to open a fiat-crypto trading platform in Malta, an island nation located in the Central Mediterranean Sea, Bloomberg reported.

This article originally appeared at: https://www.coindesk.com/binance-opens-first-crypto-fiat-exchange-uganda/.
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Alibaba Seeks to Eliminate Middlemen in Blockchain Payments Patent

There’s basically two ways incumbents can react to newer technologies.
  1. Find a way to disrupt themselves and stay relevant
  2. Seek to block others from innovating.

Which way do you think Alibaba wants to go?


Alibaba Seeks to Eliminate Middlemen in Blockchain Payments Patent

From CoinDesk

Jun 29, 2018 at 11:00 UTC

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has been exploring the use of blockchain technology to speed up international payments, according to a new patent filing.

The patent application – “A System and Method That Adjusts Account Balance on a Blockchain” – was filed with the China State Intellectual Property Office in January of this year and was revealed on Friday.

Aimed to tackle the broad concept of adjusting account balances over a blockchain, the company explained how the system could be used to facilitate cross-border transactions that specifically involve a third-party payment vendor.

For instance, the document said that third-party payment services and their banking partners in different regions will all function as nodes to form the envisioned blockchain. Subsequently each node will maintain a ledger of user balances, reflecting accounts in third-party payment vendors’ mobile wallets.

When a transaction request is initiated, the nodes would verify the user’s account balance, taking into account any legal compliance procedures that must be followed – a process enforced by triggering smart contracts encoded to the blockchain, the patent says.

The nodes would then update the balance of the users sending and receiving the transacted amount in a decentralized way, thus eliminating the need for an intermediary and avoiding the resultant delays in transaction time, according to the document.

Although Alibaba didn’t explain how or if it intends to apply the system commercially, the document was published just days after the company’s payment affiliate Ant Financial announced the launch of a blockchain-based remittance service.

As reported by CoinDesk, Ant Financial said it is now using a blockchain-based system to allow Alipay users in Hong Kong to send money to residents in the Philippines via a third-party payment vendor, and with Standard Chartered as the banking partner.

Read the full patent application below:

Alibaba cross-border payments patent filing by CoinDesk on Scribd

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Warren Whitlock talks Blockchain at BCI Summit in New York City

The arrival of institutional investment into the crypto space has signaled a number of maturity benchmarks for the likes of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple. As such, it seems like everyone and their mothers are trying to get a grip on this emerging financial asset. As mainstream is turning towards digital currencies, an immediate question arises; where can one get quality investing information?
Traditional Finance Meets Crypto

Wrapping your head around the technical aspects of Bitcoin’s blockchain is one thing, but finding ways to open your portfolio to the digital currency market safely is a whole different ballgame. While age-old advice can undoubtedly prepare you for the balancing act of keeping your holdings in the green, there are key differences that need to be noted when entering the volatile world of cryptocurrencies.

So, how does one avoid the pitfalls and find the highest Alpha? Education.

This year’s BCI Summit on June 11 to June 12, 2018, will look to bring together the innovative aspects that blockchain technology is providing for the legacy financial system.

As an investor-centric discussion, speakers from top startups, venture capital firms, and ex-banking executives will dive into the nuanced strategies to capitalize on the incoming financial revolution. All of it is sure to quench your desire for a knowledgeable-edge in the markets.

Key Speakers

The balance of financial experience, best cybersecurity practices, and innovators in the space will, if anything, give a broad overview of the all the moving parts. Most notably, Charlie Shrem, founder of the Bitcoin Foundation, co-founder and former CEO of BitInstant LLC, and one of the loudest voices in the anglicization of Bitcoin, will be sharing his experiences since the pioneer cryptocurrency’s inception.

Source: BCI Summit

Arianna Simpson, another early proponent of Bitcoin, will shed light on the move from the technical aspects of BitGo to running a blockchain-focused VC firm. Shira Rubinoff, a top 25 cybersecurity expert, will go into how scams are rampant and due diligence is more important than ever when exploring the crypto space. CME Group, IBM, BlockTower Capital, and many more will help the novice, and expert investors alike pick apart the decentralized world of crypto.

For full details on the agenda, list of speakers, tickets, and location, please visit the BCI Summit website.

This article originally appeared at: https://btcmanager.com/countdown-to-bci-summit-in-new-york-city/.
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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.

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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.

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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.

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Building a blockchain version of Twitter

When Twitter was launched in 2007, even the founders had no idea what they had released. Co-founder Evan Williams said several years later that Twitter “was hard to define, because it didn’t replace anything”.

In retrospect, we can see now that Twitter had invented a new internet platform for short-form, public messaging. What’s more, it seemed to fit the ethos of the web, in that developers were using Twitter to build their own apps on top of.

Everybody was winning: Twitter grew like crazy, developers were inventing new ways to utilise Twitter data, and users had lots of cool new apps to play with (such as TweetDeck, Flipboard and TwitPic).

However, things went sour in 2011 when Twitter began exerting control over its platform. In March of that year, Twitter told external developers to stop building Twitter apps “that mimic or reproduce the mainstream Twitter consumer client experience”.

Suddenly we all realised the truth: Twitter was not an open platform after all. Indeed, it slowly got more and more restrictive for developers. In August 2012, Twitter introduced usage caps and other rules around use of its data.

Twitter imposed these restrictions partly to prepare for listing on the US stock exchange, which eventually happened in 2013. The company needed to funnel as much revenue as possible through its own website and official apps. Because if there is one thing Wall Street is obsessed with, it’s revenue growth.

Developers and early Twitter users felt betrayed. They were promised an open platform, and that dream had been snatched away.

On blockchain you could fulfil the early dream of Twitter to be an open, fully decentralised protocol.

Which brings us to blockchain technology and the token business model that accompanies it. Yes, the blockchain could be used to recreate Twitter – and many other applications. Specifically, on blockchain you could fulfil the early dream of Twitter to be an open, fully decentralised protocol.

Let me clarify what I mean by “protocol”. In technology terms, a protocol is a set of rules that define how a service operates. Common internet protocols include HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) for web pages, and SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) for email.

Twitter isn’t a protocol, but it could’ve been. Let’s say I was creating Twitter today, in 2018, using a blockchain. I would decree a set of rules that specify what the content is (because I’m old-school, I’m going to specify 140 characters per tweet), what types of things I can do with the content (for example I’ll put in a heart button, to specify “like”), and a bunch of other essentially arbitrary rules.

I’ll call this set of rules a new internet protocol for short-form, public messaging. I’ll open source the codebase, to show that I’m serious about wanting this to be a new protocol that anyone can use.

Naturally, I’ll use a decentralised blockchain to store all of the data – so that no one entity owns it, and the data cannot be erased.

Okay, so I’ve created this new service, which I’ll call TweetBlock. I now want to incentivise users to start tweetblocking, and incentivise developers to create cool stuff on top of it. So I create a token, which I’ll call TWBL. I write a 50-page white paper and then sell the token in an ICO. I earn $100 million and run off with all that money.

No, I don’t do that! Because if I run off, the betrayed developers will fork the open sourced code into a new project. Besides, I’m proud to have created a new internet protocol and I want to stick around for the ride.

The token will be what drives growth in my awesome new open platform. Developers will build a bunch of amazing new apps, in order to earn tokens. Curious people will start using those apps; and they’ll be incentivised to be early users through a token reward system.

Suddenly there’s a tipping point! In Twitter’s case, it was geeks using the product at the SXSW conference in March 2007. Perhaps with TweetBlock, it’ll have a tipping point when the token rises 400 per cent on one day on CoinMarketCap.

I’ll stop the story here, but I hope you see the point I’m trying to make: it’s possible to create a fully open and decentralised web platform, using blockchain and the token business model as an incentive mechanism to drive growth.

I’m not the only one to have thought of a blockchain version of Twitter. Last year an early investor in Twitter, Naval Ravikant, sponsored a prize for someone to build a “decentralised microblogging service”.

Also there are a few young blockchain startups building Twitter-like apps. MatchPool aims to create “pools” of people who share common interests – it’s like a decentralised Facebook Groups. MatchPool has its own token, Guppy (GUP), to incentivise users. Another interesting blockchain app is Social, which describes itself as “a secure and private decentralised social network”. Its token is SCL.

So it’s definitely possible to reboot Twitter for the blockchain era.

Of course, the hard part is getting tens of millions of users. But at least the dream is alive for creating an open, decentralised alternative to Twitter.

Richard MacManus (@ricmac) founded tech blog ReadWriteWeb in 2003 and has since become an internationally recognised commentator on what’s next in technology and what it means for society.

This article originally appeared at: https://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/digital-living/101349742/building-a-blockchain-version-of-twitter.
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Telegram plans multi-billion dollar ICO for chat cryptocurrency

Encrypted messaging startup Telegram plans to launch its own blockchain platform and native cryptocurrency, powering payments on its chat app and beyond. According to multiple sources which have spoken to TechCrunch, the “Telegram Open Network” (TON) will be a new, ‘third generation’ blockchain with superior capabilities, after Bitcoin and, later, Ethereum paved the way.

The launch will be funded with an enormous Initial Coin Offering, with forthcoming private pre-sales ranging into the hundreds of millions, potentially making it one of the largest ICOs to date. Demand is driven by the fact that rather than the ICO coming from a fresh startup, Telegram is a well-established messaging platform used around the world.

Adopting a homegrown cryptocurrency could give Telegram’s payment system enormous independence from any government or bank — something Co-founder and CEO Pavel Durov is known to covet after investors took over his last company, Russian social network VK. Durov has not responded to TechCrunch’s several attempts to contact him regarding this story.

The potential for a cryptocurrency inside a widely adopted messaging app is enormous.

With cryptocurrency powered payments inside Telegram, users could bypass remittance fees when sending funds across international borders, move sums of money privately thanks to the app’s encryption, deliver micropayments that would incur too high of credit card fees, and more. Telegram is already the de facto communication channel for the global cryptocurrency community, making a natural home to its own coin and Blockchain.

Selling a TON of cryptocurrency

Telegram is understood to be considering raising as much as $500 million in the pre-ICO sale at a potential total token value in the range of $3 billion to $5 billion. However, those figures could change before the ICO, which could come as soon as March. Those figures would make it possibly the biggest private crypto raise to date after Tezos, which raised over $230 million in July.

A pre-sale in an ICO is a minimum cap on investments (sometimes with discounts) to attract big investors (‘whales’) before a wider token sale to retail investors. The public, retail phase of an ICO tends to raise less because there is a long tail of people investing small sums. But front-loading the ICO with institutional investment inspires confidence for retail investors.

Those pre-sale investors may be required to place a minimum buy-in of $20 million if they’re outside of Durov’s inner circle. Sources say that the ICO will require real fiat currency like US dollars for buy-in, not Bitcoin or Ether as others ICOs have to date.

Top-tier institutional investment firms have expressed interest, but Durov is said to be wary of accepting their cash. One firm rumored to have pushed for a pre-sale allocation is Mail.Ru Group (formerly DST), founded by Russian emigre Yuri Milner. A spokesperson for DST did not reply to our inquiry about this story. Interestingly, Mail.Ru Group is the fund that ended up buying Durov’s last company VK.

Understanding Telegram Open Network

Durov’s idea is to launch an entirely new blockchain, using the Telegram’s 180 million users as rocket fuel to power forward into mainstream adoption off cryptocurrency and making Telegram, effectively, a kingmaker of other cryptocurrencies, because of its existing scale.

According to Telegram’s white paper that TechCrunch has review portions of, its cryptocurrency will be called “Gram” and could potentially gain immediate mainstream adoption by being tied to Telegram’s chat app.

Sources say Durov has decided to combine both a centralized and decentralized infrastructure, since a totally decentralized network doesn’t scale as fast as one which has some elements of centralization, hence why Telegram needs to own its own blockchain.

Moving to a decentralized blockchain platform could kill two birds with one stone for Telegram. As well as creating a full-blown cryptocurrency economy inside the app, it would also insulate it against the attacks and accusations of nation-states such as Iran, where it now accounts for 40% of Iran’s internet traffic but was temporarily blocked amongst nationwide protests against the government.

Telegram has played a delicate political balancing act to try and retain its users in the country, shutting down some channels for calling for the downfall of the government, while keeping others open.

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Telegram plans multi-billion dollar ICO for chat cryptocurrency

Encrypted messaging startup Telegram plans to launch its own blockchain platform and native cryptocurrency, powering payments on its chat app and beyond. According to multiple sources which have spoken to TechCrunch, the “Telegram Open Network” (TON) will be a new, ‘third generation’ blockchain with superior capabilities, after Bitcoin and, later, Ethereum paved the way.

The launch will be funded with an enormous Initial Coin Offering, with forthcoming private pre-sales ranging into the hundreds of millions, potentially making it one of the largest ICOs to date. Demand is driven by the fact that rather than the ICO coming from a fresh startup, Telegram is a well-established messaging platform used around the world.

Adopting a homegrown cryptocurrency could give Telegram’s payment system enormous independence from any government or bank — something Co-founder and CEO Pavel Durov is known to covet after investors took over his last company, Russian social network VK. Durov has not responded to TechCrunch’s several attempts to contact him regarding this story.

The potential for a cryptocurrency inside a widely adopted messaging app is enormous.

With cryptocurrency powered payments inside Telegram, users could bypass remittance fees when sending funds across international borders, move sums of money privately thanks to the app’s encryption, deliver micropayments that would incur too high of credit card fees, and more. Telegram is already the de facto communication channel for the global cryptocurrency community, making a natural home to its own coin and Blockchain.

Selling a TON of cryptocurrency

Telegram is understood to be considering raising as much as $500 million in the pre-ICO sale at a potential total token value in the range of $3 billion to $5 billion. However, those figures could change before the ICO, which could come as soon as March. Those figures would make it possibly the biggest private crypto raise to date after Tezos, which raised over $230 million in July.

A pre-sale in an ICO is a minimum cap on investments (sometimes with discounts) to attract big investors (‘whales’) before a wider token sale to retail investors. The public, retail phase of an ICO tends to raise less because there is a long tail of people investing small sums. But front-loading the ICO with institutional investment inspires confidence for retail investors.

Those pre-sale investors may be required to place a minimum buy-in of $20 million if they’re outside of Durov’s inner circle. Sources say that the ICO will require real fiat currency like US dollars for buy-in, not Bitcoin or Ether as others ICOs have to date.

Top-tier institutional investment firms have expressed interest, but Durov is said to be wary of accepting their cash. One firm rumored to have pushed for a pre-sale allocation is Mail.Ru Group (formerly DST), founded by Russian emigre Yuri Milner. A spokesperson for DST did not reply to our inquiry about this story. Interestingly, Mail.Ru Group is the fund that ended up buying Durov’s last company VK.

Understanding Telegram Open Network

Durov’s idea is to launch an entirely new blockchain, using the Telegram’s 180 million users as rocket fuel to power forward into mainstream adoption off cryptocurrency and making Telegram, effectively, a kingmaker of other cryptocurrencies, because of its existing scale.

According to Telegram’s white paper that TechCrunch has review portions of, its cryptocurrency will be called “Gram” and could potentially gain immediate mainstream adoption by being tied to Telegram’s chat app.

Sources say Durov has decided to combine both a centralized and decentralized infrastructure, since a totally decentralized network doesn’t scale as fast as one which has some elements of centralization, hence why Telegram needs to own its own blockchain.

Moving to a decentralized blockchain platform could kill two birds with one stone for Telegram. As well as creating a full-blown cryptocurrency economy inside the app, it would also insulate it against the attacks and accusations of nation-states such as Iran, where it now accounts for 40% of Iran’s internet traffic but was temporarily blocked amongst nationwide protests against the government.

Telegram has played a delicate political balancing act to try and retain its users in the country, shutting down some channels for calling for the downfall of the government, while keeping others open.

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Goldman is reportedly getting into bitcoin and crypto trading

Global banking giant Goldman is setting up up a trading desk focused on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, according to a report from Bloomberg.

The bank is said to be in the early stages of setup, which means hiring and figuring out the logistics, including how the bank will hold the assets and keep them secure. The ultimate goal, Bloomberg claimed, is to begin trading by June 2018.

“In response to client interest in digital currencies, we are exploring how best to serve them,” the bank told Bloomberg in a statement.

The move would make it the first major bank to embrace trading bitcoin and cryptocoins, which have surged in value in 2017, with bitcoin itself getting close to the $20,000 mark before falling this week. It’s current price is $14,633, according to Coindesk, a huge jump on $998 on January 1 2017.

Goldman is one of a handful of financial organizations to offer Bitcoin Futures for selected clients. CBOE was first to offer the trading option on December 10, and it has since been joined by CME. There has been opposition from some banks who expressed concern at a lack of transparency and regulation around Bitcoin Futures.

The involvement of financial institutions has coincided with a bumpy ride for bitcoin owners, with price moving close to $20,000 in the past week only to dip below $15,000.

This article originally appeared at: https://techcrunch.com/2017/12/21/goldman-bitcoin-crypto-trading/.