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Use our news to inform cryptocurrency trading decisions, stay up-to-date on happenings in the industry, and more!

Gemini To Become First BitLicensed Exchange To Offer Trading in Zcash
The New York State Department of Financial Services has authorized Gemini Trust Company to offer trading of Zcash, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash. Tyler Winklevoss, Chief Executive Officer of Gemini Trust Company, LCC said, “We are proud be the first licensed exchange in the world to offer Zcash trading and custody services and look forward to providing customers with a safe, secure, and regulated place to buy, sell, and store Zcash, an incredible new form of digital cash.”

Crypto Mining Company Coinmint Moving To Revamp 1,300 Acre Alcoa Plot
Once used for aluminum smelting, an Alcoa plant in Upstate New York is going to be converted into one of the world’s largest bitcoin mining centers. CNBC reports Coinmint said Tuesday it “would invest up to $700 million in the upstate New York location, which it expects to be the biggest bitcoin mining center in the world. The project will create an estimated 150 jobs over the next 18 months.”

Cryptocurrency Theft Malware Now An Economy Worth Millions
According to a new research report titled “Cryptocurrency Gold Rush on the Dark Web” by Carbon Black, the market for malware and tools designed for the theft of cryptocurrency is growing swiftly. ZDNet states, “The researchers estimate that over the past six months alone, a total of $1.1 billion has been stolen in cryptocurrency-related thefts, and approximately 12,000 marketplaces in the underbelly of the Internet are fueling this trend.”

Image courtesy of Carty Sewill, http://cartyisme.com/.

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Use our news to inform cryptocurrency trading decisions, stay up-to-date on happenings in the industry, and more!

“See No Bank, Hear No Bank, Speak No Bank”: German Bank Allows Users To Transfer Loans Anywhere In The World Using Bitcoin
According to Reuters, German Radoslav Albrecht founded an online bank that allows clients to transfer loans anywhere in the world using Bitcoin. ZeroHedge reports, “Albrecht’s Bitbond uses Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to completely bypass the Swift international transfer system which has a monopoly and ultimate veto power on who is in – and isn’t – in the global petrodollar club, to lend money across the globe rapidly and at low cost.”

Winklevoss-Owned Gemini Exchange Becomes First Licensed Exchange to Offer ZCash
Anthony Severino of BlockExplorer reports that Gemini, the New York-based cryptocurrency exchange owned by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, will become the “world’s first licensed ZCash exchange”.

Australia To Ban Cash For All Purchases Over $10,000
Australia’s Liberal Party government announced it will be illegal to purchase anything over $10,000 with cash starting July of 2019. The Australian government goes on to say it’s “encouraging the transition to a digital society” and cracking down on tax evasion.

LG CNS Launches its own Blockchain Platform, Monachain
Monachain provides digital authentication, community token, and supply chain management. ZDNet reports, “The service is aimed at enterprise clients and can be applied in finance, public, telco and manufacturing industries, the company said. The platform offers digital authentication, community token, and supply chain management.”

Image courtesy of Carty Sewill, http://cartyisme.com/

Gemini, the New York-based cryptocurrency exchange owned by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, will become the “world’s first licensed ZCash exchange,” according to an announcement made via the company’s official blog this morning.

Starting on Saturday, May 19th at 9:30am EDT customers will be able to begin depositing ZCash they already own onto the exchange in preparation for when trading begins on Tuesday, May 22nd at 9:30am EDT. At that time, trading goes live with the following trading pairs on Gemini: ZEC/USD, ZEC/BTC, and ZEC/ETH.

The New York Department of Financial Services, who oversees New York’s controversial Bitlicense, approved Gemini adding Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash, in addition to the privacy-focused ZCash. The addition of ZCash is of particular significance due to Gemini being the world’s first licensed exchange to offer the privacy coin, but also because privacy coins have faced scrutiny over criminals potentially abusing the anonymous nature of the coin. Regulators in other countries, most notably Japan, have been targeting privacy coins, even requiring some exchanges in the region to delist privacy coins such as ZCash and Monero.

Along with Gemini’s “first,” the New York Department of Financial Services also becomes the first regulatory agency across the globe to supervise ZCash.

Maria T. Vullo, superintendent of the NYDFS offered the following statement about issuing the approval:

“This action continues New York’s longstanding commitment to innovation and leadership in the global marketplace. With smart and thorough regulatory oversight, the development and long-term growth of the industry will remain thriving,”

In a separate phone interview, Cameron Winkevoss made reference to the growing discomfort regulators feel toward privacy coins:

“Today demonstrates that through education and collaboration and with the right controls in place, regulators can get comfortable with privacy technology.”

ZCash’s price skyrocketed over 25% to a peak of $349 in the wake of the news.

bitmain asic

Chinese mining rig manufacturer Bitmain has unveiled the first Equihash ASIC miners, making it likely that it will soon be unprofitable to mine Zcash using GPU-powered devices.

Bitmain began accepting preorders for the Antminer Z9 mini on Friday, and the miners will begin shipping in June.

The Z9 mini is the first application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) miner built to mine the Equihash Proof-of-Work (PoW) mining algorithm, which is currently used by Zcash, Bitcoin Gold, and a variety of lesser-known cryptocurrencies.

The deployment of these devices will alter the nature of Zcash mining, which until now has been done primarily with GPU chips, which are available at most electronics retailers.

ASICs — which are only available from specialized manufacturers like Bitmain — are significantly more efficient than GPU miners, meaning that Zcash GPU mining will likely now be restricted to hobby miners who do it for fun — not profit.

Zcash originally adopted Equihash because it was ASIC-resistant, making it difficult for a single company — namely Bitmain — to dominate the production of Zcash miners.

However, now that Equihash ASIC miners are set to hit the market the Zcash community must grapple with whether to make its peace with this development or adopt a hard fork to render the Z9 mini incompatible with the cryptocurrency’s network.

However, maintaining ASIC resistance will likely require regular changes to the coin’s mining algorithm, and even then few believe that it will be able to stave off ASICs forever.

Zcash founder Zooko Wilcox acknowledged this in a forum post discussing his evolving views on ASICs and the mining landscape in general.

“I’m really chagrined that I let it sound like we were committing to a social contract of ongoing ASIC-resistance. That is absolutely never what I had intended to commit to,” he wrote of the original decision to adopt Equihash.

However, he added that — at least right now — he still believes that ensuring the network has a wide distribution of coins is more important than “locking miners into a large sunk-cost investment in the cryptocurrency.”

“Oh, bottom-line, by the way, is that I’m basically still in the same place now that I was four years ago when we first decided to go for widespread-distribution-of-coins at the expense of sunk-cost-incentive-alignment,” he concluded. “I still think that widespread-distribution-of-coins is more important (but I still think that it can’t last forever, and that the other side of the trade-off may also prove to be important).”

Featured Image from Pixabay

A journey through Bitcoin Village.

Ever since around Thanksgiving, it’s been impossible to tune out all of the noise that Bitcoin is making in the media. First, it was Bitcoin’s meteoric rise to $20K, followed by an abrupt crash, downward spiraling all the way down to under $6K at one point. The widespread mania prompted (foolish) people to remortgage their homes to avoid missing out on the promise of Lambos and wealth beyond our wildest dreams. Dreams that quickly turned into nightmares for many, as FOMO turned to FUD in a mere few months.

Beyond the wild swings in price due to its volatile, speculative nature, those that have been embracing the cryptocurrency as a replacement for the almighty dollar, have begun to show the rest of the world what life using Bitcoin is like.

Bitcoin Village,” a small section of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is taking lead and showing the rest of the world that cryptocurrency is indeed a currency that can be used for everyday occurrences, like dining out at your favorite restaurant, visiting a theatre, ‘getting your hair did’, or shopping at a local mom and pop retail boutique.

The journey started with STREET, a casual dining restaurant that was featured on an episode of the Food Network’s ‘Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives’, entitled ‘Sausage, Seafood and Shawarma’. Flyers for Bitcoin that include a “quick-start guide” and references to a “world famous” Bitcoin tour. Marketing materials in the lobby call out that Bitcoin is “accepted here” and boasts that “people who paid with Bitcoin saw food prices drop by 75%” likely referencing Bitcoin’s parabolic value increase in 2017.

The signage boldly asks “can your money do that?”

STREET also accepts other cryptocurrencies, such as Dash, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin. When management was asked “why crypto,” the response was “there wasn’t a reason not to accept it,” citing how easy it was to integrate an app into their iPad-based point-of-sales system. STREET’s sister restaurant, an eclectic pizza parlor located in the same plaza called STREET’ZA also accepts the same cryptocurrencies.

Also on this famed Bitcoin “tour” was La Maison Navarre, a French pastry shop; Fresh Press, a 100% organic smoothie and foodie spot; Lair’s Bench, a brewpub; and Fezziwig’s Food and Fountain, which offers coffee, tea, crepes, milkshakes, and ice cream sundaes. And that only covers food.

Sol Sunwear, which was the first retailer to join the Bitcoin revolution that started in Portsmouth, takes a tongue in cheek approach to their accepting cryptocurrency. Like STREET, each shop accepting crypto in Bitcoin Village has unique signage to alert customers and passer-by that Bitcoin is accepted here. At Sol Sunwear, a shop that sells designer eyewear, the sign reads “Bitcoin millionaires prefer Prada and Valentino.”

Another fashion outlet, Cotillion Bureau, offers second-hand clothing selected for its craftsmanship.

As a tourism hotspot, Bitcoin Village is also home to a few gift shops that offer unique and interesting trinkets. Pickwick’s Mercantile is one of them. Their “feminine” counterpart is Lady Pickwick’s. Deadwick’s Ethereal Emporium is chock full of oddities including crystal balls, costumes, antiques and more – a stark contrast to the technologically advanced nature of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. All of these places will accept cryptocurrency alongside traditional dollars and cents.

For entertainment, 33 Artspace offers a local value for live performances, and the Seacost Repertory Theatre is a historic venue for plays, musicals, and more. Portsmouth School of Ballet, Portsmouth Smoke and Vape, Oomph Hair Salon, Port City Coin and Jewelry, Pickwick’s at the Banke, and even Portsmouth’s local Lens Crafters franchise accepts Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Yoga classes at Bikram Yoga Portsmouth can be paid for using crypto. Crypto can buy you almost anything in this town.

Portsmouth is also home to the Blockchain Institute of Technology and offers hands-on education on blockchain development. Passing by the window, students were hard at work while unmanned computers had screensavers that flashed the images of various cryptocurrency tokens.

Last but not least, the tour ends at the Portsmouth Free State Bitcoin Shoppe. This is where it all started, the “Cryptoanarchy Mecca,” as the two founders define it. Their mission is to “help people use better money.” At the Free State Bitcoin Shoppe, everything from crypto related T-shirts, cold storage hardware wallets, books, and propaganda are available – but here, only cryptocurrency is accepted. That’s right, they’ll turn away fiat money and encourage you to use their crypto ATM if you don’t already own Bitcoin or one of the many other cryptocurrencies accepted here (including Bitcoin Cash, Dash, Zcash, Monero, Ripple, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Dogecoin). It’s the founders of the Free State Bitcoin Shoppe that encouraged other retailers in the area to get involved in the “movement.”

And what a job they’ve done. No other place on the planet offers such a wealth of diversity in its people and its businesses, yet also accept cryptocurrencies so widely and openly. Portsmouth, NH has always been an innovative community, but it’s the one place on Earth where the future of currency – a future led by cryptocurrencies – is already in practice.