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Ultimate Resource On Crypto-Currency Exchanges And Other Companies Integrate Bitcoin’s Lightning Network In 2022

One of Bitcoin’s most promising new technologies is coming to one of its oldest exchanges. Ultimate Resource On Crypto-Currency Exchanges And Other Companies Integrate Bitcoin’s Lightning Network In 2022

The Kraken exchange announced today it will add support for the Lightning Network in 2021, which adds it to a small (but growing) list of exchanges that support the scaling technology thus far. Kraken is hiring a team to manage the feature, which it anticipates will be open for client use sometime in the first half of 2021.

“The Lightning Network has matured to a level where it can be used by Kraken. It really comes back to what our users are asking for.

They want instant and efficient payment – the ability to deposit and withdraw bitcoin without having to wait for confirmations and without high withdraw fee withdrawals,” Pierre Rochard told CoinDesk, saying Kraken anticipates that it will behoove traders looking for arbitrage opportunities between exchanges.

Regarding what aspects of Lightning have “matured” to make Kraken comfortable with supporting the technology, Rochard said two Lightning tech advancements in 2020, wumbo channels and multi-path payments (MPPs), paved the way for the integration.

Wumbo channels allow users to send larger transactions on the Lighting Network that are larger than a few hundred dollars, while MPPs allow users to break up large payments into smaller amounts to make them easier to send.

Rochard told CoinDesk the rollout will be an “API-first launch” with only withdrawals initially enabled. This launch will only be “the first of many iterative developments with the Lightning Network” for Kraken though, Rochard continued, adding that the exchange may even allow users to set up payment channels (Lightning’s transaction avenues) directly with the exchange.

What Is The Bitcoin Lightning Network?

Bitcoin’s Lightning Network is a technical innovation that allows its users to send bitcoin faster and more cheaply than if they were using Bitcoin’s primary network.

These transactions use bitcoin but take place on a “secondary network” with different rules for accounting payments than Bitcoin’s blockchain (these transactions are eventually settled and recorded on Bitcoin’s blockchain when a user is done using the network).

For an exchange like Kraken, the Lightning Network would lower transaction fees for users when depositing and withdrawing from the trading hub. Since one of the appeals of Lightning is that you can send bitcoin for as little as a cent, this could mean the difference between paying a few dollars or a few pennies to withdraw bitcoin off Kraken at times of high transaction congestion.

Exchanges Integrating Lightning

Bitcoin’s more vocal and passionate community members have griped that Kraken (among other popular exchanges) has neglected to add support for Bitcoin’s cutting edge technology while being quick to add new DeFi coins.

Kraken CEO Jesse Powell has been blunt on social media, stating that the choice to list Ethereum tokens is purely a business one: As the nosebleed price action in DeFi this summer showed us, the real money is in attracting traders to speculate on altcoins.

But now with Lightning on Kraken’s list of priorities, it will be the third crypto exchange to integrate the network, joining early adopter exchanges like Bitcoin-only River Financial and veteran crypto venue Bitfinex.

Scaling technologies like the Lightning Network and sidechains like Liquid and RSK all offer lower fees and faster transactions than Bitcoin’s on-chain network. When asked why Kraken opted for the Lightning Network instead of other scaling solutions like sidechains, Rochard chalked the decision up to network effects.

“Let’s look at it from the perspective of the ecosystem and how many participants there are. The Lightning community has done a great job of growing and building several different implementations. There are multiple different wallet providers, application developers and there’s so much of education and business development.

“We want the whole industry to adopt this technology, and we want that because we believe it will help everyone. Part of the hope with this announcement is that it gives others the opportunity to join us.”

Updated: 1-22-2021

OKCoin To Integrate Bitcoin’s Lightning Network In Q1

The feature, added to alleviate fee pressure during Bitcoin’s bull market, could be live within a month’s time.

OKCoin is the latest crypto exchange to support Bitcoin’s Lightning Network.

Per details shared with CoinDesk, the exchange is in the final phases of integrating the secondary scaling network. It should be live within three to four weeks, OKCoin’s team told CoinDesk.

“We have been a bitcoin exchange since 2013, and while we are excited about [decentralized finance] and other assets, we know bitcoin is the foundation of the entire industry Bitcoin’s network is often congested and has high transaction fees, particularly during bull markets,” OKCoin CEO Hong Fang told CoinDesk.

OKCoin Adopts Lightning

The Lightning Network is a technology stack built on top of Bitcoin which facilitates faster and cheaper transactions than Bitcoin’s primary network.

This integration means OKCoin can lower deposit minimums for bitcoin on Lightning to 0.000001 BTC ($0.03), while the withdrawal maximum is $750. OKCoin representatives told CoinDesk that Lightning Network deposits will show up under users’ regular bitcoin balances, and that users only have to pay Lightning Network fees (usually pennies) when withdrawing.

OKCoin is one of the members of Blockstream’s Liquid sidechain, another scaling solution, wherein a network maintained by a federation of members like OKCoin processes transactions for a fraction of the cost of Bitcoin’s primary network.

OKCoin’s CEO told CoinDesk the exchange may “explore other networks” in the future but is focused on implementing Lightning live on the platform first.

Once it’s integrated, the Lightning Network will be available on both OKCoin’s mobile and web applications.

Bitcoin Lightning Network Exchanges

OKCoin is not the only exchange riding Lightning into the new year.

At the turn of 2020, Kraken Exchange announced it would launch support for the network sometime in the first half of 2021. Shortly after the new year, U.K.-based CoinCorner integrated the solution for users of its exchange after having it as a payment option on its merchant plug-in for some months.

Momentum is building for the Lightning Network’s utility as an instant, cheap on- and off-ramp to exchanges. Bitfinex, which services an international clientele but is closed to U.S. users, was one of the first exchanges to offer Lightning Network deposits and withdrawals. U.S.-exclusive River Financial also offers Lightning functionality for its users.

Updated: 2-2-2021

OKEx To Accelerate Bitcoin Transactions With Lightning Network

As Lightning Labs continues to expand the Lightning Network’s capabilities, another major exchange announces its plans to integrate.

Global cryptocurrency exchange OKEx is moving to cheaper and faster Bitcoin (BTC) transactions with its upcoming Lightning Network integration.

According to a Tuesday announcement, OKEx’s Bitcoin Lightning Network will be integrated “in the coming quarter,” making OKEx a participant node in the Lightning Network.

The integration will allow OKEx users to select the Lightning Network option when depositing and withdrawing BTC, intending to decrease transaction fees and times.

The Lightning Network is a second-layer scaling solution and payment protocol based on top of the Bitcoin blockchain. The protocol was suggested by Joseph Poon and Thaddeus Dryja in 2015 in an effort to solve Bitcoin’s scalability problem.

According to data from crypto analytics website BitInfoCharts, the average Bitcoin transaction fee amounted to more than $15 on Monday.

As the Lightning Network is not a blockchain itself but rather a secondary layer, the solution was originally mostly used for small or even micro Bitcoin transactions. To solve this problem, Lightning Labs introduced so-called “Wumbo” channels in August 2020 in order to make it possible for nodes to service larger transactions while reducing on-chain fees.

The word Wumbo, which apparently means “large,” is a reference to an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants. These channels are named as such because they are larger than the 0.1677 BTC ($5,800) limit.

OKEx is not the only crypto exchange to start experimenting with the Bitcoin Lightning Network. In July 2019, European crypto exchange Bitstamp set up its own Lightning Network node to boost the network’s capabilities.

Another global exchange, Bitfinex, reportedly became the first crypto exchange to enable Lightning payments in December 2019. In September 2020, Bitfinex announced support of Lightning Network’s Wumbo channels to enable it customers to deposit and withdraw large amounts of Bitcoin.

Amid Lightning Labs expanding the Lightning Network’s capabilities, more crypto exchanges have moved to integrate the protocol in recent months. In December 2020, major United States-based crypto exchange Kraken announced that it too will integrate the Bitcoin Lightning Network in 2021. OKCoin also recently announced its plans to integrate the network in the first quarter of 2021.

Updated: 2-10-2021

Lightning Network Node Count Hits Record High, TVL Tops $42M

Will Bitcoin’s premier layer-two solution finally graduate from experiment to everyday utility, following its adoption by major exchanges?

The Lightning Network has grown 75% in size over the past year, hitting a record high 8,900 nodes for the first time on Feb. 8, according to LN monitors at Bitcoin Visuals.

A significant proportion of the increase occurred more recently, suggesting that some Bitcoiners are gravitating toward the layer-two solution, potentially as a means of escaping ever-increasing transaction fees.

The total BTC locked in LN channels has remained in the 1,000 to 1,100 range since Aug. 2020 — however the total dollar value has risen 250% in the intervening months, translating to a record $42.72 million currently locked on the network.

The total number of channels between nodes currently stands at about 38,600, which is the highest since May 2019. This count does not represent channels between private nodes.

Three years after launch, the Lightning Network is still facing an uphill battle to on-board new participants, and is yet to achieve a meaningful level of adoption. Many regular users of Bitcoin are off-put by the technical requirements of funding a Lightning node and maintaining a channel, preferring to stick with on-chain transactions until the experience becomes less daunting.

However big exchanges have begun to adopt the network. In Dec. 2020, Kraken shared its plans to integrate the Lightning Network during the first half of 2021. OKEx made a similar announcement early last week and expects to roll out LN support “in the coming quarter.”

Bitfinex, which has offered fee-less conversions of LN funds for over a year, has taken the additional step of also supporting Liquid BTC, which is Blockstream’s competing smart contract-driven L2 solution. Both Lightning and Liquid BTC can readily be exchanged for BTC on-chain at Bitfinex.

As more exchanges onboard second layer based deposit and withdrawal options for BTC, inter-exchange fund transfers are predicted to become much faster and cheaper, with standard transaction fees being replaced with Lightning’s median base fee of 1 satoshi.

The Lightning Network was originally conceived by Joseph Poon and Thaddeus Dryja, who published their white paper on the subject in Jan. 2016. Recognizing the limitations of Bitcoin’s (then) 1MB block size cap, Poon and Dryja set out to create a way in which BTC transactions could be made off-chain. The result was an independent, smart contract-based network that has the potential to help Bitcoin scale to a much higher throughput of transactions per second.


Updated: 2-23-2021

Kraken Users Demand Refunds Over Flash-Crash Liquidations

Margin traders on Kraken are outraged after a flash-crash triggered wholesale liquidations while the exchange was inaccessible to users.

Kraken users are demanding compensation after violent flash crashes localized to the exchange resulted in leveraged trades being liquidated amid the sharp retracements recorded across the crypto markets on Feb. 22.

Feb. 22 saw the single largest daily candle in the history of both Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) by linear value, with BTC dropping around $9,500 from $57,500, while ETH plummeted by $400 from $1,940 within the span of 24 hours on Coinbase.

However, it appears that a combination of weak buy support and cascading liquidations resulted in particularly heavy losses on Kraken — with BTC falling 22% to less than $45,000 while ETH declined 64% to find support at just $700.

The public reaction on subreddit r/Krakensupport has seen many traders voice their frustrations. Some traders are even threatening to organize legal action against the exchange, with Reddit-user u/dtk6802 claiming to have lost the majority of their life savings amid the flash-crash:

“I lost most of my life savings and haven’t received a response from a human. I’d think they would refund or they would lose all their customers. I’m sick to my stomach but will join the lawsuit with plenty of proof(screenshots) if not refunded.”

However, the fallout appears for some has extended beyond losses and into debt, with Reddit-user u/GoEers304 claiming their balance indicates they now owe Kraken money as a result of the flash-crash.

“Somehow I now owe them 120 dollars. How does an account go into the negative? I had plenty in margin to cover all the other platform drops, but who can cover a 90 percent bogus drop?” they said.

Despite calls for compensation for the flash-crashes from Kraken’s users, social media commentary suggests the exchange will not be refunding traders for their losses.

To protect against wholesale liquidations in the event of sudden and localized flash-crashes, many crypto derivatives platforms have long used an index price to determine margin calls.

While other platforms similarly suffered sharp flash crashes, with Ether in particular falling on Nexo, The trading platform has indicated on Twitter they will refund users for losses incurred during the dip:

Liquidations have not been rare amid the recent crypto price volatility. On Feb. 15, a roughly 11% drop in the price of Ether caused $1.89 billion worth of liquidations across the broader crypto markets. The majority of liquidations took place on Binance, with $336 million worth of Ether and $55 million worth of BTC being wiped from users’ balances.

Ether’s 50% Selloff Was Genuine, Not An Error, Kraken CEO Says

A plunge of more than 50% in Ether’s price on cryptocurrency exchange Kraken was probably caused by extreme selling, and not by a trading-engine malfunction, the bourse’s CEO said.

Crypto prices tumbled across the board on Monday, with many tokens falling more than 20% during the trading session. Ether, the second-biggest digital coin, sank as low as $700 from about $1,600 on Kraken, according to a report from Coindesk.

“We’re in the process of investigating,” Jesse Powell, chief executive officer of Kraken, said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. “There doesn’t seem to be any evidence of a trading-engine malfunction. It seems like trades processed accurately.”

Powell said the losses could have been exacerbated by the availability of margin trading and stop-loss orders on the exchange.

“It could be that a single whale just decided to dump his life savings.”

Ether extended losses on Tuesday, tumbling as much as 19% to about $1,450 as of 10:54 a.m. in London.

The exchange is unlikely to roll back trades, the CEO said. But he left room for some kind of compensation to clients affected by the dramatic moves. “We may end up doing something for these people. We’re looking into it,” he said.

At a time when cryptocurrency enthusiasm has swept markets and captivated billionaires and small traders alike, the sharp moves raise questions about the stability of crypto exchanges. The industry is lightly regulated and the U.K. financial watchdog has warned that investors risk losing all their money.

The risks haven’t deterred investors who profited from soaring crypto prices over the past few months. Powell said Kraken is seeing five times the number of new clients as a few months ago.

“It’s still a bit of the Wild West. You still have to do your own research and learn how things work, and you’re kind of trading on professional mode on many of these venues,” he said.

Updated: 2-26-2021

Crypto Firm Kraken Seeks Over $10 Billion Valuation

Kraken is in talks to raise new funding in a move that would more than double the cryptocurrency exchange’s valuation to more than $10 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The San Francisco-based company, founded by Chief Executive Officer Jesse Powell in 2011, is in discussions with firms including Fidelity, Tribe Capital and General Atlantic, said people familiar with the matter, who requested anonymity because the talks are private. Terms, including lead investors, aren’t final, but Kraken’s valuation could surpass $20 billion depending on demand, one of the people said.

Representatives for Kraken, Tribe Capital, General Atlantic and Fidelity declined to comment.

Attention on crypto as an asset class is soaring. Earlier Thursday, Kraken’s larger rival Coinbase Global Inc., which has been valued at nearly $100 billion, filed for a direct listing, citing skyrocketing revenue growth. Crypto exchanges have gained users as Bitcoin rallied in the past year, and set a record of more than $58,000 this week. Crypto exchanges make their revenue off of transaction fees, and have benefited a surge in trading volume.

Kraken, which is subject to U.S. regulation, offers coins including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin, its website shows. The company in 2019 leaned on investment platform Bnk to the Future to raise $13 million at a roughly $4 billion valuation.

Kraken facilitates margin trading and is one of the largest U.S. crypto exchanges by spot trading volume, according to CoinMarketCap.com. It’s also a top-10 crypto exchange globally in Bitcoin futures, according to tracker Skew.com.

Updated: 3-3-2021

Bitcoin Could Reach $1 Million or More, Kraken CEO Says

As the leader of crypto exchange Kraken, Jesse Powell is bound to be bullish on Bitcoin. Yet he’s projecting a disruptive future that would stretch the imagination of even the most ardent crypto fans.

In a Bloomberg Television interview, Powell said Bitcoin could reach $1 million in the next decade, adding that supporters say it could eventually replace all of the major fiat currencies.

“We can only speculate, but when you measure it in terms of dollars, you have to think it’s going to infinity,” he said. “The true believers will tell you that it’s going all the way to the moon, to Mars and eventually, will be the world’s currency.”

The CEO also said San Francisco-based Kraken is considering going public, possibly next year.

Extreme predictions are nothing new in the world of Bitcoin, where adherents stand to profit from convincing a wider audience that crypto is a legitimate asset class, rather than a speculative fad. The dollar remains the world’s reserve currency and is the benchmark for global trade, though its value has softened in the past year.

Powell said Bitcoin bulls see it one day exceeding the combined market cap of the dollar, euro and other currencies.

The dollar “is only 50 years old and it’s already showing extreme signs of weakness, and I think people will start measuring the price of things in terms of Bitcoin,” he said.

The digital currency slipped 3% in early U.S. trading on Thursday, hovering around $49,000. Prices have surged almost 600% since the start of 2020 on the back of wider mainstream adoption, with bulls seeing it as both an inflation hedge and speculative asset.

Critics argue that Bitcoin is in a giant, stimulus-fueled bubble destined to burst like the 2017 boom and bust cycle.

Kraken benefits from higher prices as it reaps fees from increased trading. Bloomberg reported last month that the exchange was in talks to raise new funding, which would double the company’s valuation to more than $10 billion.

“Personally, I think $10 billion is a low valuation,” Powell said. “I wouldn’t be interested in selling shares at that price.”

The CEO did acknowledge the potential for wild market swings, saying prices can “move up or down 50% on any given day.” That kind of volatility has long been one of the negatives of Bitcoin, relegating the market to one of speculation, rather than a means of doing business.

“If you are buying into Bitcoin out of speculation, you should be committed to holding for five years,” Powell said. “You have to have strong convictions to hold.”

Updated: 4-8-2021

Kraken Reiterates Tentative Plans For Direct Listing Next Year

A direct listing is a more likely route for the digital currency exchange, CEO Jesse Powell says. His comments echo previous statements delivered to Cointelegraph.

Kraken, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, has tentative plans to go public next year, according to CEO Jesse Powell.

Powell appeared on a segment on CNBC after Kraken published record-breaking fourth-quarter results, including a surge in trading volumes and new client signups.

“The first quarter just completely blew away the entirety of last year,” he said. “We beat last year’s numbers by the end of February. The whole market has really just exploded.”

Regarding A Potential Stock Market Debut, Powell Said 2022 Is A Likely Target For A New Listing:

“We’re looking at being able to go public sometime next year. […] It would probably be a direct listing, similar to Coinbase.”

Coinbase plans to stage its public offering on April 14, providing Wall Street with a more conventional way to gain exposure to the crypto boom. Unlike a traditional initial public offering, the company will go public through a direct listing. That means the current owners of Coinbase shares will convert their holdings to make them available for listing — a move that avoids a lengthy, costly underwriting process.

Like Kraken, Coinbase is coming off a record-breaking first quarter, with revenues hitting $1.8 billion following a 276% surge in trading volume.

Although Kraken is unlikely to achieve the same $100 billion valuation that many analysts are predicting for Coinbase, a public listing would likely still be massive. Last month, Kraken told Cointelegraph that its public listing would simply be “too big” to go through a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC.

A Company Spokesperson Explained:

“If Kraken would decide to go public, it would do so through a direct listing and not through a SPAC as we are too big to go that route.”

Updated: 4-19-2021

OKEx Goes Live With Bitcoin Lightning Network Deposits, Withdrawals

OKEx is the seventh major exchange to add the scaling solution.

Crypto exchange OKEx’s support for Bitcoin’s Lightning Network is now live.

The Lightning Network is a second layer that works atop Bitcoin to facilitate faster and cheaper transactions than Bitcoin’s primary network.

The exchange announced the integration in February.

“OKEx is pleased to announce that BTC Lightning Network is now live on OKEx website, enabling much faster and cheaper BTC transfers. OKEx users are now able to use the Lightning Network for both BTC deposits and withdrawals,” a press release reads.

Last year and 2021 have been bedrock years for Lightning Network adoption among exchanges, which have added the feature in a bid to lower withdrawal and deposit fees for clients when moving funds through exchanges.

OKEx is the seventh major cryptocurrency exchange to integrate the tech stack. The others include stalwarts OKCoin, Bitfinex and River Financial, while Kraken exchange’s own integration is expected this year.

Updated: 4-22-2021

Multi-billion Dollar Investment Trust Backs Kraken Ahead Of Possible Listing

A London-based trust with ties to the Rothschild banking family, acquired a stake in crypto exchange Kraken last month.

The $5.3 billion dollar investment trust RIT Capital Partners has acquired a stake in leading crypto exchange Kraken.

The London based-trust, formerly named Rothschild Investment Trust, holds ties to the Rothschild banking family of England through Chairman Jacob Rothschild.

In an April 12 note to investors, James Glass described the exchange “one the world’s biggest crypto exchanges having been founded in 2011. It has more than 6M clients and is the 4th largest exchange by trading volumes.”

Glass Suggested The Acquisition Had One Eye On The Potential Direct Listing For The Exchange:

“According to media reports, Kraken is considering going public through a direct listing in 2022, after seeing record trading volumes and new clients amid a surge in the price of Bitcoin.”

While the amount of RIT Capital’s investment was not disclosed, it appears the firm is bullish on Kraken amid the success of its main rival Coinbase, citing its “quarterly revenue of $1.8bn in the Q1 2021” and its public listing on April 14.

The trust notes the potential of its investment in Kraken to also grow in the light of talks over a new fundraising round that could grow the company’s valuation to a reported price range between $10 to $20 billion.

“According to reports, talks have been held in discussions with firms including Fidelity, Tribe Capital, and General Atlantic. Kraken CEO Jesse Powell said this is being delayed in order to evaluate how Coinbase’s IPO performs.”

According to data from crypto aggregator CoinMarketcap, Kraken processed more than $2 billion in volume over the past 24-hours, while Coinbase processed around $3.9 billion within the same period.

RIT Capital Partners was founded in the early 1960s and has a current market cap of more than $5 billion. The trust went public on the London Stock exchange in 1988, and its share price is currently sitting at around $3,300.

This is not their first venture into the crypto world, in December 2020 the U.K.-based trust backed a $142 million investment round for Paypal’s crypto partner and stable coin issuer Paxos.

Updated: 5-6-2021

Court Orders Kraken To Provide Information On User Transactions To The IRS

A court in northern California has ordered Kraken to provide information on users who traded more than $20,000 between 2016 and 2020 to the IRS.

Kraken has been ordered to provide information on its users who conducted the equivalent of $20,000 in crypto transactions in any one year, between 2016 and 2020, to the United States Internal Revenue Service.

A federal court in northern California authorized the IRS to serve a “John Doe summons” on Kraken Wednesday. The exchange is not alleged to have done anything wrong.

The IRS is after the records of an “ascertainable group or class of persons” who may have failed to comply with tax reporting and internal revenue laws.

In addition, the IRS will check if Kraken has been compliant with its record-keeping obligations, such as Know Your Customer rules.

“This John Doe summons is part of our effort to uncover those who are trying to skirt reporting and avoid paying their fair share, ” said IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig in the court’s press release.

Acting Assistant Attorney General David Hubbert of the Justice Department’s Tax Division said:

“Those who transact with cryptocurrency must meet their tax obligations like any other taxpayer.”

A John Doe summons is used by the IRS to get the names and information about all taxpayers from a specified description, such as the “$20,000 and over” class stated in the latest summons.

According to the supporting declaration, the IRS is after information on five different classes of U.S taxpayers. Some of the activities the IRS is looking into include: reporting limited income despite trading crypto between a range of $5 million–$56 million, operating multiple accounts while exchanging fiat currency to digital assets and back to fiat for no apparent economic benefit.

The IRS is also keeping an eye on people who submitted delinquent tax returns in 2017 and 2018 with income more than $2 million each year, with activity consisting of more than $23 million in deposits, and withdrawals at various crypto exchanges.

The road to this latest fishing expedition was reportedly paved by the first John Doe summons on Coinbase in 2016, in which the IRS obtained the information of 13,000 Coinbase customers.

Coinbase has been under scrutiny ever since, and in November 2020, tax lawyers of Coinbase warned customers that it had been tracking an increase in IRS enforcement against users who fail to comply with tax and reporting requirements.

Cointelegraph reported on April 18 that a Massachusetts federal court had entered an order authorizing the IRS to serve a “John Doe summons” on Circle Internet Financial Inc.

Updated: 6-8-2021

One Crypto Exchange Is Going To Extreme Lengths On Cybersecurity

Kraken pushes its employees to act in ways associated more with intelligence agents than tech workers.

There’s an organization where children of employees have to sign nondisclosure agreements before attending company parties—the only exception is for kids who haven’t yet learned to write—and where a parent had to explain to his 8-year-old that she couldn’t exchange Pokémon with friends because the boss forbids her from connecting her Nintendo Switch to the internet.

When he goes to work, that same father has to leave his made-to-order suit, luxury French watch, and classy leather shoes in the closet, donning a $9 Uniqlo T-shirt and jeans to blend in with the crowd near the office.

This organization isn’t an underground criminal group or an intelligence agency—it’s Payward Inc., the San Francisco-based company established in 2011 to operate the cryptocurrency exchange Kraken, which investors now value at $10 billion.

Nick Percoco, the company’s lushly bearded chief security officer, says ransomware attacks often start with cybercriminals digging up personal information about employees online and using it to tailor phishing emails containing malicious software.

So he’s set out to install a company culture of vigilance—some would say paranoia—about guarding personal information.

“Security has become part of our culture in a way that I don’t even have to say it much anymore,” says Percoco, a 25-year cybersecurity veteran. “I feel it.”

Payward’s guiding principle is that a lax security mindset in one’s private life bleeds over to work. New Payward employees spend two days in security classes, then three days setting up office PCs and passwords.

Then there’s a week to go over a 70-item checklist of recommended personal security measures, including setting up hardware token login authentication for personal devices, installing alarms and surveillance cameras at home, and closing social networking accounts.

After the initiation, employees are prohibited from using public USB charging ports, identifying themselves as Kraken workers, or sharing the location of their offices with family members. The devices of any employee who downloads unusually large chunks of data, gains access to suspicious websites, or uses a phone in unusual ways are immediately locked down, followed by a call seeking explanation.

So far, Percoco says, Payward’s cybersecurity defenses haven’t been breached, even though crypto trading platforms are an attractive target for hackers and the company is regularly hit with hacking and phishing attacks.

Masanori Kusunoki, a director of the Japan Virtual and Crypto Assets Exchange Association, sees Payward’s measures as extreme but sensible. “It is surprising that a company is successfully implementing such strong measures to all the employees because people don’t like to spend that much of energy to cybersecurity,” he says.

Takeshi Chino, Payward’s Japan chief—and the one who has to commute in costume—can’t tell his wife the physical location of the office.

He is one of the few executives the company has authorized to acknowledge publicly that he works at Payward, a privilege gained only after the security team audited all the information that could be gleaned about him by searching the public internet, dark web, and government records. Chino, 37, also supervised his 6-year old son as the boy signed his first NDA before attending a company event two years ago at an Italian restaurant.

“I heard from people that Kraken is crazy about security before I joined, and yes, it is really intense about it from Day 1,” Chino says in a video chat, where his background is completely black except for the company logo. “But that’s what it takes.”

Updated: 6-11-2021

Jack Dorsey Says He Will Integrate Lightning Network Into Twitter Or Bluesky

Earlier this month, Dorsey revealed that Square intends to develop an open-source non-custodial Bitcoin hardware wallet.

Jack Dorsey, co-founder and CEO of social media network Twitter and founder and CEO of financial services company Square, has confirmed he is planning to integrate Bitcoin’s Lightning Network sidechain with at least one of his businesses.

On Friday, Dorsey responded to a question from Twitter user Deyonté, who had requested that Dorsey integrate the Lightning Network into Twitter or BlueSky — the decentralized social network Twitter has devoted manpower to developing since 2019.

In response, Dorsey responded, “Only a matter of time.”

Dorsey’s comment appears intentionally vague, with the remark appearing open to be interpreted as confirming that either BlueSky or Twitter, or even both companies, could be eying a Lightning integration.

Twitter user Mklad also suggested Dorsey’s pro-Lightning remarks could relate to Square’s recent acquisition of Jay-Z’s failed music streaming platform, Tidal.

Dorsey’s tweet comes amid recent moves from Square to expand its digital asset operations.

Earlier this month, Dorsey revealed that Square intends to develop an open-source non-custodial Bitcoin hardware wallet. The following day, Cointelegraph reported that Square had revealed a partnership with blockchain infrastructure firm Blockstream, with Square planning to invest $5 million into a solar-powered Bitcoin mining facility.

Dorsey has long argued that Bitcoin (BTC) mining incentivizes adoption and innovation in renewable energy, with Square committing $10 million toward its Bitcoin Clean Energy Investment Initiative in December.

Updated: 9-14-2021

P2P Exchange Paxful Integrates Lightning Network

Lightning Network is the leading Bitcoin scalability solution, providing layer-two transaction capabilities separate from BTC’s main blockchain.

Peer-to-peer cryptocurrency exchange Paxful has integrated Lightning Network into its platform, giving its 7 million users access to near-instant Bitcoin (BTC) transfers.

The new feature gives users the ability to send and receive BTC from their Paxful Wallet in a matter of seconds and with much lower fees than existing blockchain transactions, the company announced Tuesday.

Paxful co-founder and CEO Ray Youssef described Bitcoin as “the best financial option” but acknowledged that scalability issues could be hindering adoption. He said Lightning Network is Bitcoin’s greatest chance of achieving the scalability needed to make microtransactions a reality.

The global online microtransaction market was valued at roughly $34.6 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 10% over the next four years, according to industry research. The video game industry and the virtual goods and services that it propagates are becoming a major catalyst for the growth of microtransactions.

Lightning Network is being developed to facilitate Bitcoin payments and allow users to quickly and reliably engage in off-chain transactions through a second layer. Lightning currently boasts over 26,500 nodes for a network capacity of 2,468.93 BTC at the time of writing.

In the absence of a viable transaction layer, Bitcoin has carved out a strong niche as an investable asset.

However, creating an electronic cash system was a key component of Satoshi Nakamoto’s 2008 Bitcoin white paper.

(Interestingly, and as Cointelegraph recently explained, the Bitcoin founder’s forum posts and correspondences used “cash” and “gold” synonymously.)

There’s strong reason to believe that Lightning Network will achieve wider utility on the Paxful trading platform.

As of April 2021, the P2P exchange had processed over $5 billion in volume, with Africa — a region that is quickly adopting Bitcoin as a medium of exchange — emerging as one of its biggest markets.

Updated: 12-12-2021

Chainalysis Blockchain Data Platform To Integrate Lightning Network

Chainalysis clients will be able to allow BTC deposits and withdrawals on the Lightning Network while complying with regulations.

Crypto tracking and compliance firm Chainalysis is adding support for Bitcoin’s Lightning Network, according to a press release shared with CoinDesk.

* Users of Chainalysis’ “Know Your Transaction” platform will be able to prescreen for Lightning withdrawals and behavioral alerts so they can be compliant in allowing BTC deposits and withdrawals from Lightning nodes, the statement said.

* The Lightning Network is a layer 2 blockchain that enables faster bitcoin transactions so people can use the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization for small payments like tips and remittances.

Updated: 12-15-2021

Mobile Bitcoin Gaming Is Powering Up on Lightning

Des Dickerson: “We want to gamify the world with bitcoin.”

A new game will soon drop in the App Store. You are a cat – a cute cat, a cartoon cat – who flings items like fish, seashells and golden stars into the sky. Your goal is to smash targets.

I tested the game, called Thndr Bay, while it was still in beta. In the spirit of games like Candy Crush, it’s a bit mindless yet oddly addictive, and it serves the usual purpose of putting off work.

But the game has a twist.

When you finish each level you win purple tickets, and these tickets automatically enroll you in a daily raffle that doles out free bitcoin. The day after I first played my game, I opened Thndr Bay and learned that I had just won 20 satoshi, or roughly $.01. Finally, at long last, I’m leveraging my journalism to get rich in crypto.

I might have only won a penny, but each month, 50,000 users are regularly playing other games from Thndr (the developer of Thndr Bay), such as Turbo 84 and Bitcoin Bounce, to “stack Sats.” Zebedee, another bitcoin gaming company, said 50,000 people have downloaded a mobile game called SaruTobi.

These numbers are tiny compared to the 1.8 million daily users of Axie Infinity, but there are some in the space who see the rise of mobile bitcoin gaming – especially in a “normal” ecosystem like the App Store – as key to spurring global bitcoin adoption.

“Mobile games are the most frictionless way for people to onboard into bitcoin,” said Desiree Dickerson, the new CEO of Thndr.

“Nothing feels safer than going to the App Store or the Google Play store. Everything feels safe.” You don’t need to upload a picture of your passport. You don’t need 2-factor authentication.

“That is the most beautiful experience for getting your first bitcoin,” said Dickerson. “You’re literally having fun and you’re earning bitcoin.”

Dickerson’s very presence at Thndr, in a way, is a massive vote of confidence in mobile gaming, and perhaps a signal for the future. She’s a good get. For years Dickerson served as vice president of business operations at Lightning Labs, arguably the most consequential project in all of Bitcoin. She had a top role at a top company. She’s popular in the space and well-connected, and she could have landed any job.

So Why Cartoon Cats?

The shorthand is that Dickerson left Lightning to launch a bitcoin mobile gaming company. The truth is more complex. At the end of July, she left Lightning to help care for her mother, spending 14 hours a day in a Cleveland hospital – often sleeping there – as her mother battled diverticulitis. “I had to make a call on where to spend my time,” said Dickerson, and her mom was more important than bitcoin.

When her mother recovered, Dickerson, exhausted and drained, took her first break in years and went on an “epic vacation” with her husband and bounced around Europe – Barcelona, Krakow, Naples, Prague, Slovakia and on and on. “We ate and drank and did nothing,” said Dickerson. But wherever she went, and on every flight, she noticed something: People were playing games on their phones.

Grandparents, teenagers, kids, parents, men, women – everyone was on their phone playing games. “It was literally everywhere,” said Dickerson. “Even in Ohio in the hospital waiting rooms. They’re not reading books anymore.” Even her mom was playing “these stupid Clue-like games.”

Meanwhile she had been doing research. Crunching numbers. “I was like, holy s**t, mobile gaming makes up 60% of the entire gaming market,” she said. “That’s larger than both desktop and console gaming combined. Insane numbers.” And there are an estimated 3.1 billion gamers in the world. She found the math compelling.

Then there’s the lure of gaming itself – a lifetime obsession. When Dickerson was a kid, her dad had the original Nintendo, and they played Duck Hunter. The N64 came out when her parents divorced, and the console brightened an otherwise bleak time, as “so much was breaking down in our lives.”

Over pizza, she bonded with her father while playing Goldeneye and Mario Party. “It was such a huge, huge, huge part of my youth,” she said.

Later, at the University of Chicago, she got hooked on Facebook games, even using her student loan money on FarmVille. After college, working in management consulting for the federal government (she helped with the roll-out of HealthCare.gov, calling it two years of “non-stop nuts” and “insanity”), she was hell-bent on winning Pokemon Go battles … at the White House.

That gaming obsession continued at Lightning. She worked with Jack Everitt, the game developer who originally launched Thndr, and Christian Moss, the co-founder and head developer at Zebedee, to launch a bitcoin e-sports tournament called Mint Gox.

“My favorite use case [for Lightning] is gaming,” Dickerson told me back in May of 2021, months before she made the switch. “Gaming is the perfect onramp for people who never thought about bitcoin. It’s a no-brainer.”

The story of Dickerson, Everitt and Moss is still largely untold – perhaps because they’re not part of any crypto speculation frenzy. (Yet.) But they could write the next chapter of bitcoin gaming and bitcoin adoption … and it all started with lighting. No, not the Lightning Network – “Force Lightning” from “Star Wars.”

Not Strictly Sadistic

Emperor Palpatine, as every “Star Wars” fan knows, shoots evil lightning bolts from his fingers. In 2008, a young computer graphics wizard from the U.K., Jack Everitt, was tasked with creating a Force Lightning plug-in for After Effects, the video effects software program.

So Everitt built the effect. It was cool. And it gave Everitt an idea. The iPhone had just been released, and Everitt knew that the App Store – still in its infancy – was an untapped goldmine for those who could code.

Everitt quickly created an app, called Volt, where you touch the screen and then you see lightning bolts. That’s it. That’s all it did. This lightning-themed app shot to No. 2 in the paid App Store.

Laughing, Everitt remembers that in those early days of the iPhone, people were still dazzled by the ability to pinch your screen and zoom in on pictures, “and anything that wasn’t zooming in on the phone was amazing.”

He made enough money from Volt to quit his job and focus on creating more games, such as 2013′s “Smash Dude,” where you basically beat the crap out of a wooden doll with a variety of weapons: punches, tomatoes, darts, thumbtacks and Everitt’s beloved lightning. In a mixed review (2.5 stars), CNET called it a “frustration vent like none other” while clarifying that the game is “not strictly sadistic.”

Perhaps Everitt would have remained a traditional game developer forever, but two developments would change his course. Everitt was shocked when Apple yanked Smash Dude from the App Store, apparently because it was too violent.

This struck Everitt as bizarre and capricious. The game was “cartoony, with no blood,” said Everitt. “They were opaque and didn’t give any explanation.”

And it was getting harder and harder for his games to get noticed. Competition on the App Store and Google Play had stiffened – if you didn’t splurge on a marketing budget, your game would get buried by the algorithm.

The second development: Lightning. As early as 2013, Everitt toyed with the idea of somehow injecting his game with bitcoin, but the fees were too high and the 10-minute lag (to settle base-layer transactions) was a deal-breaker. Then came Lightning. Near-instant transactions. Near-zero fees.

Just before a Lightning Network conference in Berlin, in 2019, Everitt slapped together a quick game, called Bitcoin Bounce, that could demonstrate how players could win satoshis in-game. The game was crude and simple; Everitt created it as an “ice breaker” for the conference. You basically “bounce” on the blockchain and pick up satoshi coins.

At the time, Everitt was still a nobody in the crypto world, so he attended the Berlin conference as a regular crypto-bro. But he noticed a spare booth where an exhibitor had no-showed, and without asking anyone’s permission, he claimed it as his own, set up shop and showed the Lightning community Bitcoin Bounce.

The game was a hit. Dickerson remembers downloading Bitcoin Bounce (shortly after the conference), playing the game and thinking, “Wow, this is really happening in the palm of my hand. Gaming on bitcoin is actually a reality.”

The Berlin conference is also when Everitt met another central figure in mobile bitcoin gaming: a fellow British game developer named Christian Moss.

Boozy Coins

Soon after Christian Moss graduated university in the U.K., he moved to Japan to teach English. He found it odd that his computer science degree failed to teach him computer programming, so almost on a lark, he went to YouTube and searched “How to make an iOS app?”

He taught himself how to program and make games, or what he now describes as “bad games,” like taking an image from your phone’s photo library and turning it into a jigsaw puzzle. When he uploaded his first app to the App Store in 2010, he excitedly checked the stats to see how many people had downloaded it. The answer was five. Not 5,000. Five people.

Moss soon built other games, better games, like one that incorporated robots, puzzles and time traveling. (A robot is trapped in an elevator and it has to press a button to open the doors. But the button is broken. So the robot needs to time-travel to a moment where the button wasn’t broken.)

He moved with his girlfriend (now wife) to Australia, then landed a job with an app development company, and one day he was tasked with designing a bitcoin wallet app. “For a small amount of time I was the only bitcoin wallet app on the App Store,” Moss remembers.

Moss realized that no one was putting bitcoin into games. So he made a game called SaruTobi, which literally means “monkey fly,” the name of a famous ninja in Japanese folklore. Like Everitt’s Bitcoin Bounce, the game wasn’t super complicated.

You tap the screen and spin the monkey, and the monkey would fly through the air, and if you’re lucky the monkey would swing into some bitcoin. (CoinDesk covered the game’s release in 2015.)

Moss was now hooked on bitcoin gaming. He moved back to Tokyo where he attended bitcoin meetups – at the time organized by Roger Ver – and made connections who became sponsors of the game. That was the early business model: Crypto sponsors (like Genesis Mining and Bread Wallet) would give Moss the capital that he could then give to players.

One night at a Tokyo meetup, Moss got drunk. “You know how sometimes when you’re drunk, sometimes you see coins on the floor? But they’re really just bottle caps?” (Moss adds that “maybe you don’t, maybe that’s just me.”) This gave him boozy inspiration: Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if you can just drop bitcoin on the floor for other people to pick up?

This was before Pokemon Go. “The idea is that people could drop bitcoin anywhere in the world for others to pick up,” Moss said, in an idea that now – with the price of bitcoin around $50,000 – feels hilariously unlikely.

But 2016 was a simpler time in crypto. So Moss created a game, called Takara, where you use your phone’s GPS to navigate to dropped bitcoin, and then you need to answer questions to prove you’re actually there.

Why the questions? Moss said that GPS can be faked, so he added real-world challenges as a safeguard. For example, if you’re at a diner, you might have to answer “What’s the breakfast special?” Japanese businesses even used the game for advertisements, such as Tokyo bars that dropped bitcoin into their establishments as a way to lure customers.

Takara and SaruTobi were fun, they were creative, and they were being played by actual people. Then came the scaling problem. The games “all broke because the fees became too high,” said Moss. He put a pause on mobile bitcoin gaming, a pause that would last for years, until a solution emerged that cracked the scaling problem – Lighting.

Moss was then approached by a crypto entrepreneur named Simon Cowell (not that one), who years ago played SaruTobi, remembered it fondly, and wanted to start a Lightning-infused bitcoin gaming company Zebedee.

Moss is now Zebedee’s head of gaming, Cowell is the CEO, and Zebedee now creates both bitcoin games and tools to help developers make bitcoin games. “We think bitcoin will be the main currency of the digital world,” said Moss.

Idle Clickers

Maybe mobile bitcoin gaming is the future, but to get there, Dickerson, Everitt, Moss and the other mobile bitcoin gaming developers (such as Viker) will have to solve some very real problems in the present.

Consider the design of the games themselves. Bitcoin can make it tricky. “You can’t just add bitcoin to a game and give it away,” said Everitt. “You have to think about it when you design the game.”

Thndr measures every in-game metric: how many ads do people watch, when do they spend their money in the game, how quickly do they complete levels. You measure all of those metrics like normal, said Everitt, but “now you’ve got a hole in the ship. And money’s being leaked out of it.”

Thndr’s revenue model, at least in these early days, is almost surprisingly traditional. “We make money through ads and in-app purchases,” said Everitt. (And the ads, speaking from personal experience, can be jarring and annoying.) They’re not receiving crypto from players – it’s the reverse. They spread satoshis to entice users to keep playing. But how much should they give? How often?

Everitt and team are testing these variables constantly. They use A/B testing to compare different payouts – maybe Group A plays a version of the game that gives out 25 satoshis, and Group B plays an identical version but only gets 1 satoshi. They measure engagement and retention. Everitt was reluctant to share examples of this kind of testing, as “that’s where our edge is.
It’s our secret sauce.”

But he did let slip that they found something surprising in their analysis: Gamers seemed to find the prize of 1 satoshi more valuable than 25 satoshis. Perhaps the former feels fun and cute; the latter feels cheap. And this is obviously a happy insight for a gaming company; the players don’t notice any difference, but switching from 25 to 1 slashes giveaway costs by 96%.

Gamers seem to love these 1 satoshi giveaways. They even give satoshis to each other as a sign of fellowship. “When we want to give something nice to another player, we say that one sat equals one digital hug,” said a Venezuelan-based gamer who goes by Koty.

He plays Bitcoin Bounce and Turbo84 every day for 10 to 15 minutes, hoping to stack sats, and is excited about how he can use them in the future. “Imagine playing a casual game, earning sats, and use those sats to buy a new armor in a MMORPG [massively multiplayer online role-playing game], or a set of tires in a racing game or to even do groceries in the analog world,” said Koty.

Maybe someday. But another challenge: The very “safety” of the App Store, which Dickerson credits for frictionless adoption, is also a brutal constraint to game design. There’s only so much, at the moment, that game developers are allowed to do with bitcoin.

Can users make in-app purchases with bitcoin? Nope. This is one reason why the current crop of games (unlike Axie Infinity) generally only give out bitcoin, not create an in-game economy.

Adding bitcoin can warp the core incentives of a game. When Zebedee added bitcoin to a Mario Kart-style game, you scoop up coins when racing around the track. But then something funky happened. Moss found that instead of completing each level, players would actually drive the cart backwards to collect more coins. “The incentive to finish wasn’t there,” said Moss. So they tweaked the game to give an extra incentive to finish the level.

“As a game designer, you kind of want people to actually play the game,” said Moss. “Otherwise, you kind of feel like, ‘I might as well just make a game that has a button that you press, like a chicken.’ That can be disheartening.”

Game security is a constant danger. If you create a game that directly gives out bitcoin, then you have unwittingly created a juicy target for hackers. As Everitt describes it, maybe the game’s code has a line that says “give me 10 sats” and then the hacker rewrites that to “Give me 1,000 sats.”

Then there are the “satoshi farms.” Most of these games have daily limits, so you can only earn 500 sats (for example) before seeing a message like “You’ve reached your limit for today.” This prevents Thndr and Zebedee from getting bled dry.

Moss said that to juke this constraint, some gamers create virtual accounts on multiple machines – an army of machines – to rack up the free satoshi. Moss is constantly playing what he calls “whack-a-mole” to ban the IP addresses of these satoshi farms, and said that “it happens all the time.”

Finally, it can be helpful to look at that original game I played, the cartoon cat shooter Thndr Bay, and to consider the logic that went into the design choices. “We have to choose easy game play,” said Poland-based Grzegorz Flor, Thndr’s new chief product officer. “In the beginning we have to focus on the very easy games for the mass audience.”

Flor, who has a background in both psychology and traditional gaming (he has made over 100), categorizes mobile games in different buckets: “hyper-casual,” “bubble shooters,” “idle clickers,” and so on. He teaches Dickerson the nuance of gaming; she teaches him the nuance of bitcoin.

“Idle clickers,” Dickerson said, amused. “I didn’t know that was a category. All you do is click it. Like, teenage girls will play these games in class, and they’ll put it under their leg and just click without looking.” She’s particularly amused by a game called KleptoCats, where you “have this cat, and you feed him, and you watch him, and you just click, and he steals s**t from people and he brings it back to you,” Dickerson said, laughing so hard she can barely speak. “It’s so stupid, and I’ve already spent $10 on it.”

Thndr is not making Idle Clickers, but Turbo 84 is a racer, Thndr Bay is a bubble shooter, and all of these games fit squarely in the lane of “casual.”

That could change. Consider the track record of Flor, who said he is “connected with MS Excel on a cellular level.” In Poland, he used big data to create a MMORPG game, Blackout Age, that blends in-game action with real-world knowledge.

Blackout Age is a dystopian survival game. That’s not so unique. But Flor gave it a new spin: He used the data to create maps and scenarios that conform to the real world, allowing players to benefit from their knowledge of actual neighborhoods. (Data sets of real-world light pollution, for example, helped inform the game map’s city density. Actual crime data might inform the difficultly levels of neighborhoods.)

If the player needs a weapon, and she knows that a sporting goods store is only a few blocks away, she might head to that store in the hopes of finding arrows. It’s a slick concept. The game has over 1 million downloads, according to Flor, and 25,562 gamers on Google Play have given it an average rating of 4.1.

Suddenly the game doesn’t feel so casual. Now imagine this kind of inventive, sophisticated game on a mobile device – one that you can safely grab from the App Store – and injecting it with bitcoin. That’s the kind of magic that could help realize Thndr’s end-game. As Dickerson described her modest mission: “We want to gamify the world with bitcoin.”

 

CardCoins Offers Bitcoin Payments Over The Lightning Network

CardCoins’ new Lightning integration will allow customers to receive bitcoin payments quickly and cheaply.

CardCoins, a website that lets users trade prepaid gift cards for bitcoin, now offers users the choice to receive their BTC over the Lightning Network.

The Wyoming-based startup says this new option opens up a new speedy way for users to pay for Bitcoin with cash. Most methods of purchasing bitcoin, such as buying at an online exchange like Coinbase or Kraken, require a credit card or bank account. CardCoins users can buy the required pre-paid gift cards with cash at over 80,000 stores across the U.S.

The Lightning Network is a second-layer payment that aims to significantly improve Bitcoin’s often frustrating mainchain experience by making payments faster, cheaper and more scalable. While Lightning payments are not as widely accepted as normal bitcoin payments, it’s on the uptick.

Now that bitcoin is legal tender in El Salvador, some companies there such as McDonalds are accepting payments sent via Lightning. As of last summer, popular paid newsletter platform Substack began to accept the novel form of payment. Twitter even lets users tip others with Lightning.

Providing Financial Access To The Unbanked

For CardCoins, adding Lightning support is a matter of ensuring that their users still have an option to buy bitcoin on their platform when transaction fees are high – which is an inevitability if the number of people using Bitcoin continues to grow. The Lightning Network, built on top of Bitcoin, has much less expensive fees.

“Our users make a lot of low value payments, and as fees in the Bitcoin network rise they risk being priced out. With CardCoins’ new Lightning integration, our customers can top up their Lightning balances and make payments without additional on-chain transactions,” a CardCoins representative told CoinDesk.

A normal Bitcoin transaction, which is typically more expensive than Lightning, is what’s known as an “on-chain” transaction.

Some of CardCoins’ customers rely on their services, and Lightning can help make sure the service stays cheap even when fees swell. “As a business that primarily serves the unbanked and cash-preferred demographics, it’s imperative that our customers can participate directly in the Lightning Network,” the representative added.

CardCoins is also a possible method of buying “non-KYC” bitcoin for users interested in preserving their privacy. CardCoins requires identifying information to a degree, as the company’s compliance policy explains. But for users exchanging up to $500 a week, only a phone number is required. For the privacy-minded, it’s possible to add a number that isn’t strictly tied to an ID.

How To Buy Bitcoin With Cash

What’s the process exactly? Once a user buys a Visa, Mastercard or American Express non-reloadable prepaid gift card, which are available at CVS, Walgreens, and other large U.S. retail stores, they can use the CardCoins website to trade it for bitcoin over the Lightning Network.

You’ll notice the price of bitcoin on CardCoins is more expensive than it is on most exchanges. That’s because CardCoins builds in a fee into the price for providing their service.

In order to successfully send the gift card to CardCoins, the user needs to enter how much the gift card is worth, a phone number, the gift card identifying numbers, and photos of the gift card. The process is described in more detail on the CardCoins website.

On the payment page, it’s now possible to enter a Lightning invoice to accept a Lightning payment. An invoice is a long string of random characters making up a unique address that a Lightning payment can be sent to. It’s kind of like a temporary credit card number,

Users can use a Lightning wallet like Breez or Phoenix (or any of a range of other wallets) to accept their bitcoin payment.

Updated: 12-28-2021

5 Ways Bitcoin’s Lightning Network Advanced In 2021

This past year, key developments on the Lightning protocol have been making Bitcoin a better payment system.

Attention in Bitcoin in 2021 has been glued to El Salvador making history as the first country in the world to adopt bitcoin as legal tender and bitcoin’s chronically fluctuating price. But behind the scenes, plenty of game-changing work is being done as well, such as developers working diligently to make Bitcoin a better payment system.

Bitcoin’s Lightning Network, which boosts Bitcoin payment’s speed and allows many, many more users the opportunity to send Bitcoin payments, is giving Bitcoin at least an inkling of a shot at mass adoption. And in 2021, as in every other year since the white paper was released in 2015, Lightning Network developers have been tinkering to make the technology more usable for more people.

With the help of this background grind, the network is swelling in use. The Lightning Network reeled in a record amount of bitcoin being used on the network. Twitter is even testing the technology to allow its users to send bitcoin tips to each other.

All that said, there’s still a lot of work to do to make the payment network easier to use, more secure and more private.

This is not an exhaustive list, since so much work is being poured into the technology, but here are a few key Lightning protocol developments that made headway this year.

Taproot Happened On Bitcoin

This year, Lightning got a huge boost from the November activation of Taproot, the biggest change to Bitcoin in four years. Taproot’s addition of Schnorr signatures makes it possible to add new privacy improvements to Lightning.

But there’s still a lot of work ahead to make these privacy improvements a reality.

“While Taproot brings many privacy improvements to the table, there are a lot of other, unrelated updates to Lightning that are higher priority and orthogonal to it, and implementers are already struggling to find time to review and implement everything. Please be patient, Taproot is coming, but it will take time!” Lightning Network developer Bastien Teinturier writes.

That said, there are a few key ways Taproot can affect Lightning at various levels.

Bitcoin is abnormally transparent. All transactions are stored on a ledger, which anyone can easily browse through. Today, it’s generally easy to distinguish Lightning transactions from normal transactions, because the address format is a little different.

Taproot makes it possible (for the most part) to make Lightning transactions look indistinguishable from normal transactions, making it much less clear that the user is using the Lightning Network for their transactions.

Taproot could also pave the way for “Point Lock Time Contracts” (PTLCs). In short, the Lightning Network connects nodes from around the world, allowing payments to find a “path” across this network, hopping across several connected nodes.

The beauty of PTLCs is they make it much harder for someone trying to trace a payment’s origin to link these various hops, shielding the path where a payment came from.

Even though there’s still a lot to do, it was a big step in 2021 to push Taproot through, making these changes possible.

Lightning Liquidity Boosts

One huge problem with the Lightning Network is inbound liquidity.

In order to receive money on Lightning, users need to either spend money first or find some other way of obtaining “inbound liquidity.” This is super confusing to newer users who just want to accept payments easily.

Developers have been cooking up different ways to make it easier to find and snag the required liquidity. In 2021, a number of tools emerged for dealing with this issue.

At the end of 2020, Lightning Labs introduced Pool, a marketplace for buying and selling this essential liquidity, giving developers a better interface for tracking it down. In 2021, Lightning Labs also unveiled “sidecar channels,” an easy way to also use the marketplace to help others get inbound liquidity easily – for a fee.

Additionally, Bitcoin tech startup Blockstream opened the first dual-funded channel on mainnet in May.

Without going into too much detail, the Lightning Network is composed of pathways called “channels” that are kind of like a bank account allowing users to send Lightning transactions. A Lightning channel is composed of two parties.

Usually when such a channel is opened, only one side has funds. Dual-funded channels allow for both sides to add funds to the channel, opening up a way for both channel parties to be able to send and receive payments over the network immediately.

This year, Blockstream also introduced liquidity ads, which offer some of the same benefits as Lightning Labs’ Pool, but without a central middleman managing the infrastructure.

Instead, liquidity ads bake in a way to advertise liquidity into the Lightning protocol. Nodes that are buying or selling liquidity can post advertisements that get relayed to the other nodes in the network in a decentralized marketplace.

Fee-Bumping To The Rescue

Another proposal in the works for the Lightning Network is paying fees when “closing” a channel. A user has to set an initial closing fee when they open the channel. But Bitcoin fees can fluctuate wildly. So, the fee a user decides to pay today could be too big or small for a transaction that closes, say, a year from now.

“Anchor outputs” is a feature concocted to make it possible to bump up such a fee. The Lightning Network’s three leading code implementations LND, C-lightning and Eclair all implemented anchor outputs in some form in 2021.

But even anchor inputs don’t solve the whole problem of closing fees. When a Lightning Network’s closing transaction fee gets bumped up, there’s a possible security issue. By way of a fee-bumping technique known as “Child Pays For Parent” (CPFP), a so-called “child” transaction pays too little for a fee, and so a “parent” transaction spends the same coins as the child it’s referring to, bumping up the fee.

There’s a possible issue where, even if users try to bump up the fee, nodes might ignore the transaction if the parent transaction’s fee is still too small. In that scenario, the fee is not successfully bumped up, meaning the transaction doesn’t go through as fast as the user needs it to.

Package relay, a project steered by Bitcoin Core contributor Gloria Zhao, offers a way to get around this problem by packaging the parent and child transactions together, ensuring that these fee-bumping transactions are not ignored. The feature made a lot of progress this year, though it is not yet fully merged into the code base.

‘Offers’ For A Smoother Lightning User Experience

The way Lightning payments are usually accepted is with an invoice – usually in the form of a QR code, the square-shaped barcode that can be scanned with a phone. It outlines the payment destination and amount of BTC to send. However, this invoice can be used only once. Thus, every time you want to receive a new Lightning transaction, you need to generate a new invoice. .

This is a different transaction flow than the one users experience on Bitcoin’s main chain, where they can post a static Bitcoin address to collect donations, for example. (Note: Address reuse is generally discouraged for privacy-related reasons.)

For the last couple of years, the ad hoc standard LNURL has offered a way around this issue so that a user could accept multiple payments using the same Lightning invoice.

But this year another proposal gained steam . It’s known as “offers,” championed by Blockstream Lightning developer Rusty Russell and standardized in BOLT 12. Developers disagree whether offers or LNURL is a better solution. One reason Russell is pushing for offers is that it potentially offers better privacy.

The proposal has gathered a lot of support. In addition to allowing multiple payments to the same address or QR code, offers will introduce a way to send recurring payments over the Lightning Network, such as a monthly payment to Netflix.

“[Offers] has seen a lot of progress and is a great improvement for the payment UX (user experience). I’m hoping that it will start being deployed in early 2022,” Teinturier told CoinDesk.

C-lightning offers experimental support of offers. The project still needs to be standardized across the different Lightning implementations.

Improved Payment Routing Reliability

Another issue is the reliability of Lightning payments. Payments don’t always go through properly, especially if they’re larger payments. Lightning researchers Rene Pickhardt and Stefan Richter published a paper describing a nifty new routing method that could improve reliability of Lightning payments.

In short, a Lightning payment needs to bounce across multiple nodes in order to reach its destination, such as a merchant who accepts Lightning payments for a cup of coffee.

Because these hops have some privacy built in, the balance distribution of the channels is hidden. Therefore, it can be tricky to find a path that has enough capacity in it to support the payment all the way – especially for larger payments. The average Lightning channel capacity is currently around $2,033, meaning if you want to send payments above that amount, it will be more difficult to find a consistent path across the network.

Today, the algorithm in Lightning focuses on finding the cheapest route for the user in terms of fees. But while this is good from the perspective of finding cheap channels, it’s more likely to pick a path that fails. Pickhardt and Richter take another approach: They look at the probability a payment will succeed based on the size of the channels in the path, while also considering the cheapest options in terms of fees.

C-lightning has implemented an experimental first version of the new routing mechanism, which has successfully routed payments more reliably, as the authors of the paper hypothesized.

With all these changes in the mix, Lightning is growing easier to use, as well as more reliable and private. In 2022, Lightning developers are looking to build upon these changes in the hopes that they trickle down to help everyday Lightning payment users.

Updated: 1-12-2022

Cash App Integrates Bitcoin Lightning Network For Faster BTC Transfers

The layer-two protocol addresses the historic limitations of Bitcoin to improve speeds while reducing transaction fees.

Popular mobile payments service Cash App has integrated the Bitcoin Lightning Network as a part of an update, allowing faster and cheaper Bitcoin (BTC) transfers using the layer-two (L2) payments protocol.

Cash App is developed and owned by Block (formerly Square), a fintech firm co-founded by former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. The announcement of the Bitcoin L2 integration was shared as a notification on the official Cash App application, which made its way to Crypto Twitter:

The Lightning Network protocol addresses the noted limitations of the Bitcoin blockchain to improve speeds while reducing transaction fees.

Just last month, Dorsey featured in a video with Lightning Development Kit (LDK), a service developed by Spiral, a Square subsidiary focused on developing the Bitcoin ecosystem. LDK allows developers to integrate Lightning protocols into Bitcoin wallets and related services.

Prior to leaving Twitter, Dorsey also openly voiced his interest in integrating L2 protocols for the newly launched tipping services on Twitter and BlueSky:

The latest data from Business of Apps shows that Cash App has catered to over 36 million users across the United States and the United Kingdom.

Favoring ongoing Bitcoin adoption, Cash App has launched a service that allowed users to gift BTC and stocks over the holiday season.

Cash App allowed users to send a minimum of $1 worth of BTC without needing to own the assets beforehand.

Updated: 1-18-2022

Block’s Cash App Is Finally Integrating The Lightning Network

First promised back in 2019, Block’s move will allow users to quickly send bitcoin to each other for free.

Block, formerly known as Square, is integrating the Lightning Network into its popular Cash App, a move first promised in 2019. The company said the feature should be available to all U.S. Cash App users, except those in New York State, in the coming weeks.

* The integration of the network will allow Cash app customers in the U.S. to send bitcoin for free within seconds to anybody in the world.

* The Lightning integration is made possible by the Lightning Development Kit created by Spiral, which is funded by Block.

* Cash App customers will also be able to send bitcoin to any compatible wallet that accepts Lightning Network payments, without being charged fees.

* Almost three years ago, Block CEO Jack Dorsey, who’s also an investor in Lightning Labs, said there were plans underway to integrate the scaling technology with Square’s Cash App.

* Since then, the Lightning Network has progressed significantly, with developers working to make the technology more usable for more people. The network received a boost from the November activation of Taproot, the biggest change to Bitcoin in four years, which allowed new privacy improvements to be made to Lightning.

* In November, Dorsey announced he would step down as the CEO of Twitter, but he remains the CEO of Block.

 

Updated: 2-8-2022

Jack Dorsey’s Cash App Integrates Bitcoin’s Lightning Network

 

  • Cash App Has Integrated The Lightning Network.
  • All Users Can Now Instantly Send Bitcoin Across The World.
  • Spiral’s Lightning Development Kit Is empowering Cash App’s integration.

Users of Block’s mobile payments platform Cash App can now make instant and free bitcoin payments through the Lightning Network, the company tweeted on Monday.

The integration of Bitcoin’s second-layer protocol for faster and cheaper transactions was made possible by the Lightning Development Kit, an open-source project developed by another company owned by Block, Spiral.

Spiral operates completely independently of its parent company and Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Block and ex-CEO of Twitter, also has little direct control over it. Instead, the self-directed group of developers, designers, and project managers work together to advance the adoption of bitcoin.

Updated: 2-9-2022

Bitcoin Lightning Network Growth Capacity Plateaus At 3,400 BTC

The capacity of the Bitcoin Lightning Network has short-circuited over the last three months to a 3,400-BTC capacity after surging throughout 2021, according to Arcane Research.

Following an exponential climb in capacity over 2022, the Bitcoin Lightning Network made a lackluster start to the new year. According to a report by Arcane Research, growth in the Lightning Network capacity, or the number of Bitcoin (BTC) locked up in channels, has stuttered.

The Lightning Network surged from 1,000 to 3,000 BTC in just eight months in 2021, striking the 3,000-BTC mark in mid-October.

While the network continues to strike all-time highs, growth grinds down. The total BTC locked in the network is peaking just shy of the 3,500-BTC mark, sparking debate and discussion on social media.

As a quick refresher, the Lightning Network is one answer to the scalability issue that has plagued the Bitcoin protocol. Lightning allows instant and super low-cost off-chain transactions; however, it requires Bitcoin to be locked up in payment channels distributed across Lightning nodes.

Lightning Network activity soared in 2021, primarily thanks to El Salvador onboarding a whole country and Twitter integrating Bitcoin Lightning tipping. In an October report, Arcane Research predicted that there would be 700 million Lightning Network users by 2030.

So, why has growth slowed in 2022? The Bitcoin LightningNetwork+ Twitter account stated that platforms such as Umbrel (an easy-to-set-up node and Lightning node service) sent initial growth to the moon. Naturally, due to S curve growth, it would have to plateau.

Danny Scott, CEO And Co-Founder At Coincorner — The United Kingdom’s Leading Lightning Exchange — Told Cointelegraph:

“I don’t think we’re seeing growth of the Lightning Network plateauing at all. We saw a major growth spike due to last year’s news, and growth would now appear to be more organic.”

S-curve adoption plateaus to one side, he noted that “December is a holiday period for many around the world and often when the Bitcoin industry slows down.”

René Pickhardt, Co-Author Of The Mastering The Lightning Network Book, Explained That The Slowdown In Growth Could Actually Be A Good Thing For Bitcoin. He Tweeted:

“Given the fact that node count can only grow with channels and that the channel growth is limited by storage constraints in Bitcoin, we might only have a very short period of time with exponential growth. After that, we will be at best linear.”

Looking forward, lightning may strike twice for the layer-2 Bitcoin solution. A wealth of updates and news may spark further growth, such as the American mobile payment service Cash App, which rolled out Lightning Network integration to its 30 million users.

Indeed, a better UX and easy lightning integration for existing apps and exchanges might be the shock that the network needs. Scott sheds light on the situation:

“Once we introduced ‘Lightning Addresses’ (eg. Danny@CoinCorner.io) to make it easier for our customers to receive Lightning payments we have seen an incredible uptick in usage.”

The Arcane Research paper agrees with CoinCorner that the Lightning Network could be entering a new growth phase — the best could be yet to come.

Updated: 3-30-2022

Kraken Users Report Bitcoin Lightning Network Availability

Kraken was previously aiming to implement the BItcoin Lightning Network in 2021 after officially announcing the plan in late 2020.

Major American cryptocurrency exchange Kraken reportedly started implementing the Bitcoin (BTC) Lightning Network for users a bit later than the firm originally planned.

Bitcoin maximalist Mr.Hodl took to Twitter on Wednesday to report that Kraken has implemented the Lightning Network. He attached a screenshot of the supposed new Kraken withdrawal process allowing users to complete a withdrawal request from a Lightning wallet to receive BTC from their accounts.

“The Lightning network runs on top of the Bitcoin blockchain to enable more uses of Bitcoin,” Kraken’s withdrawal notice on the screenshot reads.

It appears that no other Kraken users have reported the supposed BTC Lightning implementation on the platform so far.

Instead, some Kraken customers said that they didn’t have the Lightning option to withdraw BTC as of Tuesday, suggesting that the Lightning implementation should be extended for all accounts within 24 hours.

The first reports of Kraken’s BTC Lightning integration surfaced in mid-March from data appearing on the Lightning Network explorer known as Amboss Space. Bitcoin Lightning enthusiasts spotted the new Lightning node and shared their suspicions about a Lightning integration on social media.

A spokesperson for Amboss told Cointelegraph on March 16 that the explorer received “network gossip” broadcasting its node alias as Kraken with an octopus and a lightning emoji, noting that any node could theoretically change their alias and act as an imposter. “But this is already a very large node at 7 BTC in capacity,” the representative said, adding:

“Kraken has not contacted us to verify that this node is theirs using our standard Twitter plus digital signature verification process to prove ownership. However, judging by the restrictive channel policies, their choice of channel peers and the size of their nodes and channels, this appears to be legitimate.”

At the time of writing, the total capacity of Kraken’s alleged node capacity on Lightning amounts to more than 2.8 billion satoshis, or 28 BTC, according to Amboss data.

Kraken’s Bitcoin product manager Pierre Rochard confirmed to Cointelegraph on March 31 that exchange has successfully implemented the Lightning Network, providing its clients with instantaneous settlement of BTC transactions. He said:

“Bitcoin has proven to be an effective store of value over the last decade and is now seeing increased use as a borderless global currency […] Withdrawing to a Lightning mobile wallet is a seamless process and accelerates BTC adoption as a medium of exchange.”

As previously reported, Kraken officially announced plans to integrate the Bitcoin Lightning Network in late 2020, scheduling the implementation for 2021. Some crypto observers chuckled about exchanges like Kraken taking long to integrate Lightning as some candidates for the United States Congress have managed to adopt it before.

Released in March 2018, the Lightning Network is a Bitcoin layer-two protocol designed to provide faster and cheaper BTC transactions. Bitfinex is believed to be the first crypto exchange in the world to enable Lightning payments by integrating the protocol in December 2019.

Updated: 3-31-2022

US Grassroots Adoption: The Bitcoin Lightning Party In Portland

A grassroots Bitcoin Lightning festival in Portland, U.S. demonstrated that the Lightning Network is the perfect companion for payments.

There is “grassroots evidence” that “America is adopting Bitcoin,” according to Clay Graham, founder of Rapaygo, a company focused on enabling point of sales solutions for small businesses on the Lightning Network (LN).

At a Bitcoin Lightning festival held in Portland, U.S. over the weekend, the Bitcoin LN clocked more than $1,800 (four million Sats) in just three hours.

Hailed as “Puddle Town on Lightning Rails,” Portland’s Bitcoin Party was a space where “vendors, food carts, artists all accept Bitcoin.” Graham told Cointelegraph that there was also a “food cart pod” that acted as a “business attraction destination to Bitcoin fans who want a Bitcoin Beach type experience.”

Fiat money was, of course, not allowed and popular Bitcoiner Dennis Porter MC’d at the festival. In this tweet, he shows how easy it is to pay for goods using the LN:

Graham Told Cointelegraph That The Event Was Judged To Be A Success If “People Could Spend Bitcoin Freely As They Would Fiat.” In Total, There Were:

“Fifty people spending over 4 million sats in three hours, three food carts and seven vendors selling anything they want while even supporting use cases like ‘tipping the DJ.’”

Graham concluded that the LN made payments at the party a breeze: It was “easier than cash, all cheaper than cards and having tons of fun on a sunny day.”

A near-instant layer-2 payment network built on top of the Bitcoin base chain, the LN is ideal for a party setting. Pubinno, the company behind the Lightning pour-a-pint tool built with festivals in mind while LNBits builds open-source payments tools like split payments tools and offline solutions to make the payments tech even smoother.

Tiago Vasconcelos, Co-Founder Of Aceita Bitcoin And An LNBits FOSS Contributor, Told Cointelegraph:

“With the LN, the only thing you need is an internet connection! No card swipe hardware, no need for cash, no need for changing currency [even] if the venue is international and with lots of foreign people.”

Built on the LN, LNBits’ free open source solutions are competing with Visa and Mastercard. Vasconcelos adds that the “network fees are near to zero, or even zero, and ultimately are paid by the customer, not the merchant!” Plus, “using LN reduces the costs, and risks, of using Visa or Mastercard.”

Ultimately, Some Bitcoiners Are Even Keen For Scammers To Learn About The LN, And For Graham:

“The LN is so fast, and transactions can clear as fast or faster than cards, so both the buyer and seller don’t feel that ‘where has my money gone’ feeling when they are just trying to have fun on a sunny day.”

Plus, it’s a payment network that supports “artists, people who made stuff with their own hands and small businesses.” And there’s more of a local connection to money — and more sovereignty — because for the Portland Bitcoin Party, “the nodes that routed payments for the LN are mostly made liquid in Portland.”

Following Portland’s success, Graham added that “Kansas ity has already reached out on how to boilerplate this party,” using his company’s solutions.

“Remember that within a year of Bitcoin Beach, El Salvador announced legal tender. Now we can have Bitcoin Beach in every town.”

Updated: 4-5-2022

Lightning Labs Raises $70M To Bring Stablecoins To Bitcoin

The Taproot-powered “Taro” protocol aims to bring low-fee stablecoin and asset transfers to the Bitcoin Lightning Network.

Bitcoin is getting a boost by way of a new Taproot-enabled protocol known as Taproot Asset Representation Overlay, or Taro (like the root vegetable, not the playing cards). Taro is an open-source protocol powered by the Lightning Network (LN).

On Tuesday, Elizabeth Stark, co-founder and CEO of Lightning Labs, announced Taro and its bid to bring assets, like stablecoins, to the Bitcoin blockchain.

In addition to Taro, Lightning Labs also announced that it raised $70 million in Series B funding, led by Valor Equity Partners and joined by global asset manager Baillie Gifford.

Stark said Taro improves Bitcoin’s functionality and is possible because of Taproot, an upgrade that was activated last year. Taproot featured three upgrades: Schnorr signatures, Tapscript and Merkelized Abstract Syntax Trees (MAST).

Taproot provides efficiency, privacy and flexibility gains to Bitcoin, but only if it is built into tools for users by developers. Taro represents what might become possible when Taproot is put to work.

In an interview with CoinDesk, Lightning Labs Director of Business Development Ryan Gentry said the protocol is “uniquely enabled by Taproot to embed spending conditions into MASTs without disclosing all details to the blockchain. Using MASTs, Taro embeds data for new assets such that these assets can all be treated as bitcoins.”

How It Works

Lightning Labs describes Taro as an asset overlay network on Bitcoin. The security of Taro is based on embedded consensus, which means that transactions on Taro include Bitcoin data that needs to be verified on the Bitcoin blockchain.

There are additional rules to govern that data as defined by the Taro protocol, similar to how LN is an overlay network that uses Bitcoin smart contracts but has its own set of rules to enable the instantaneous transfer of bitcoin (BTC).

These are rules the Bitcoin blockchain doesn’t necessarily care about. On that point specifically, Stark mentioned in the same CoinDesk interview that “you issue [the asset] on-chain and then you bring complexity to the end points,” the end point being the Taro protocol.

Most importantly, Lightning Labs released the technical specifications for Taro as a Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) so that the protocol can be built with feedback from the broader developer community.

While Taro might become available first on lnd, Lightning Labs’ implementation of LN, its status as an open-source protocol will allow other popular LN implementations, like ACINQ’s eclair or Blockstream’s Core Lightning, to use Taro. During the interview, Stark pointed to this as a critical aspect of Taro.

When Lightning Labs announced its Series A in 2020, she wrote that we were “entering the decade of Lightning.” Two years into that decade, she said Lightning Labs remains committed to being open source.

A critical distinction between Taro and other stablecoins, like UST on Terra, is that Taro is only the infrastructure to enable the movement of assets over Lightning, be they stablecoins or some other asset. Taro is not a stablecoin, collateralized, algorithmic or otherwise, it is simply infrastructure to enable the movement of assets. Developers still need to build projects using Taro.

Major Funding

When asked about the $70 million Series B announced in conjunction with Taro, Stark said the combined approach was intentional.

“The goal of the announcement was to focus on the technology [Taro], raising money is solely the means, not the end,” Stark said.

The funds will be used to bolster Lightning Lab’s runway flexibility and act as fuel to grow the company, she said. Lightning Labs is still a small company with only 24 employees on its team page.

In addition to Valor Equity and Baillie Gifford, Goldcrest Capital, Kingsway, Moore Strategic Ventures, Brevan Howard, Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev, NYDIG and Silvergate CEO Alan Lane participated in the funding round.

Baillie Gifford, a traditional finance company with a long operating history, being in the investor group marks another entry into investing in crypto infrastructure after it invested in Blockstream and Blockchain.com. Stark mentioned that the asset manager is a “long-term-oriented investor, so they’re really a perfect fit for what we are trying to accomplish.”

Updated: 4-6-2022

BitPay Merchants To Get A Boost From Lightning Network Payment Integration

The crypto payments provider on Wednesday announced immediate support for Bitcoin Lightning Network payments.

Merchants on the BitPay platform can now receive payments from more than 100 Lightning-enabled wallets – Cash App and Strike among them – the company said in a statement.

* The move will allow both merchants and customers to complete speedy, low-cost and scalable Bitcoin (BTC) transactions, the blockchain payment processing company said.

* “BitPay’s integration with the Lightning Network offers customers more choice and merchants more ways to be paid leveraging blockchain technology,” BitPay co-founder Tony Gallippi said in the statement.

* The Bitcoin 2022 conference is taking place this week in Miami, and the Lightning Network has been the big story so far. Yesterday, Lightning Labs announced $70 million in funding to bring the Taproot-powered “Taro” protocol to its platform.

Visa Should Be ‘Scared:’ Lightning Labs Raises $70M To Add Stablecoins

The firm has built a new protocol called Taro that enables stablecoins to be sent and received on the Bitcoin Lightning Network.

Bitcoin (BTC) software firm Lightning Labs has secured a large funding round to enable and further develop the Lightning Network for faster and cheaper Bitcoin and stablecoin transactions.

The $70 million Series B funding round was led by Valor Equity Partners with participation from Baillie Gifford, Goldcrest Capital and several other angel investors. Lightning Labs builds additional features and software for the Lightning Network (LN), Bitcoin’s layer-2 transaction solution.

The funding will be channeled into a new protocol it has developed called Taro, which will enable stablecoins to be transferred using the LN, according to reports. Lightning Labs will not issue stablecoins, but the infrastructure will allow them to be sent over the network.

Stablecoin transactions were made possible with the Bitcoin Taproot upgrade in November 2021, which also introduced smart contract capabilities.

The firm believes that Taro will enable further Bitcoin adoption, as it potentially allows the unbanked in developing countries to send money using stablecoins.

Speaking to Forbes, Elizabeth Stark, CEO and co-founder of Lightning Labs, said, “That’s really significant because the potential here is for all the world‘s currencies to route through Bitcoin over the Lightning Network.” Speaking to Tech Crunch, she added:

“If I were Visa, I’d be scared because there are a lot of people out there that have mobile phones, but now don’t need to tap into the traditional system.”

Lightning Labs raised $10 million from its Series A in September, which followed a $2.5 million seed round in 2018.

The LN is currently being used extensively in El Salvador, the first country to make Bitcoin legal tender. It has also been put into action on the payments platform Strike and the tipping tool on Twitter. The current network collateral is 3,693 BTC, worth around $167 million, a 5.8% increase over the past month, according to the statistics.

Stablecoins are now an integral part of the digital currency ecosystem and are slowly being accepted by global regulators. The latest to give fiat-pegged assets the green light is the United Kingdom‘s Economic and Finance Ministry, which intends to adjust the existing regulatory framework to incorporate stablecoins as a payment method.

 

Updated: 4-7-2022

Jack Mallers’ Strike Announces Shopify Integration For Bitcoin Lightning Payments

The bitcoiner instrumental to El Salvador’s announcement at last year’s conference waxed philosophical on Bitcoin’s role as a payments network.

Strike CEO Jack Mallers unveiled a litany of high-powered partnerships for Bitcoin’s Lightning Network at the Bitcoin 2022 conference in Miami on Thursday – including an integration with ecommerce giant Shopify.

“You’re gonna be able to walk into” millions of American storefronts that plug into the payments stalwarts and pay across the Lightning Network.

Mallers said Strike partnered with NCR (NCR), the world’s largest point-of-sale (POS) supplier, and payments firm Blackhawk.

Speaking before a packed house at the Miami Beach Conference Center main stage, Mallers, an ardent bitcoiner and Lightning Network advocate, said his “King’s Gambit” would bring Bitcoin back to its payments roots.

“If we can help make the Bitcoin network more accessible and usable we believe we can change the world,” he said. Leveraging Bitcoin as a cheap payments network is critical to that, he said, contrasting it with the “caviar-eating” history of boomer bank-issued credit cards that he said hasn’t innovated (beyond onboarding middlemen and their fees) in years.

“There’s not been since 1949 a superior payments network that allows us to innovate” for consumers, he claimed. “Let’s build the superior payments network from scratch.”

His lead-up laced in sarcasm, Mallers’ payoff was simple: Bitcoin’s Lightning Network “carries all the properties” for homegrown success.

He said Strike would partner with Shopify’s global network of merchants to allow for payments across the Bitcoin Lightning network – for those merchants who want to opt in.

“Strike’s integration enables Shopify merchants to diversify their existing payment options and reach untapped global markets and purchasing power. Strike’s integration also allows Shopify merchants to generate savings through low-cost payment processing. By instantly converting bitcoin (BTC) payments to dollars, Strike removes certain complexities merchants face in holding bitcoin,” a press release said.

Maller’s announcement could supercharge an explosion in mainstream adoption for Lightning Network. Earlier Tuesday, stock and crypto trading hub Robinhood Markets (HOOD) said its new wallet would add support for bitcoin transactions on the Lightning Network.

“This is about America and we need to protect our ability to innovate,” Mallers said.

“I’ve also been working with policymakers to ensure that we have the right to build freely in this country,” he said, adding he has been working with Wyoming’s bitcoin-loving Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R) on such legislation.

Strike To Integrate Bitcoin Lightning With NCR: Why It Matters

NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR) is a leading enterprise technology provider that runs stores, restaurants and self-directed banking. NCR is headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., with 38,000 employees globally.

At the Bitcoin 2022 conference in Miami, the Bitcoin Lightning Network seems to be getting closer to mass adoption as large companies start to partner with Strike. The digital payments platform built on the BTC network announced that it will integrate with NCR, the world’s largest point-of-sale (POS) supplier.

NCR has the largest market share in new POS software deployments. NCR made advancements in new Grocery + installations as many retailers have added POS software capabilities since the pandemic. This sector encompasses grocery, convenience, and drugstore retailers, making it the fastest growing retail segment.

NCR has topped the list of over 100 suppliers for five consecutive years and one in six POS installations worldwide is from NCR.

NCR offers a large list of payment solutions, which means that consumers could use the lighting network to pay for groceries, restaurants, retail, and more.

Updated: 4-8-2022

Shopify Bitcoin Payments Integration Triggers Legal Questions From The Community

Attorney Kevin Thompson thinks that the event will make regulators frustrated, leading to the creation of reporting requirements for Shopify.

Following the announced integration of the payment app, Strike, with e-commerce platform Shopify to accept Bitcoin (BTC) through the Lightning Network, the crypto community raised concerns over the legal implications of the move.

Crypto researcher Matt Ahlborg believes that the event is a very significant development for BTC as it allows the offloading of BTC without the need to go through the Know Your Customer (KYC) process.

However, lawyer Kevin Thompson pointed out in a reply that the event is likely to make regulators frustrated. Being able to spend BTC without going through KYC enables users to dump BTC and avoid taxes, according to Thompson. He predicts that regulators may respond to the event by “creating reporting requirements for Shopify.”

Glennhodl, a Twitter user, also thinks that the government may take steps to address the issue of offloading BTC in major stores without doing KYC. However, he notes that while regulators can try to fight it, they won’t be able to really stop it.

David Hood suggests not taxing low-value transactions. In a tweet, he commended the recent development but also explained that more people would “take advantage” of the integration if there are no taxes on BTC purchases under $600.

Back in February, e-commerce giant eBay also hinted at the integration of crypto payments with its platform. In an interview, eBay CEO Jamie Iannone said that the company is eyeing different payment methods as they process billions of dollars in volume within their platform.

Meanwhile, the New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG) recently launched a program that enables employees within participating companies to get paid in BTC. Through a Bitcoin Savings Plan, employees have the option to take a part of their pay in BTC without paying any transaction costs.

Robinhood Rolls Out Wallets To 2M Waitlisted Users, Plans To Integrate Lightning

The crypto wallet will not support Ethereum-based services like nonfungible tokens and ERC-20 tokens.

Cryptocurrency and stock trading app Robinhood will roll out its digital wallet feature for 2 million additional users.

In a Thursday announcement at the Bitcoin 2022 Conference in Miami, Robinhood chief product officer Aparna Chennapragada said eligible customers who had been on the waitlist for the digital wallet — more than two million people — can now send and receive cryptocurrencies.

In addition, the platform is planning to integrate the Bitcoin Lightning Network to reduce the time and cost of transactions as well as their carbon footprint.

According to Robinhood, the crypto wallets will not be available to users in Hawaii, Nevada or New York “due to local regulations.” The platform had been testing its digital wallet feature since September 2021, completing its first alpha transfer using Dogecoin (DOGE) in November 2021 and launching the beta version for tens of thousands of users in January 2022.

The reaction from many Robinhood users on social media after a seven-month wait seemed to be mostly positive, though some pointed out that the wallet will not support Ethereum (ETH)-based services like nonfungible tokens and ERC-20 tokens. According to the firm’s FAQ page, any NFTs or unsupported tokens sent to a Robinhood Ethereum address may be lost.

Robinhood reported $48 million worth of transaction-based revenue from crypto in the fourth quarter of 2021, a roughly 6% drop compared to $51 million in the third quarter. In addition, the share price of Robinhood (HOOD) on the Nasdaq has declined since the firm went public in July 2021, falling from an all-time high price of $70.39 on Aug. 4 to $12.17 at the time of publication — a drop of more than 82%.

 

 

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State-by-state Licensing For Crypto And Payments Firms In The Us Just Got Much Easier (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin (BTC) Ranks As World 6Th Largest Currency

Pomp Claims He Convinced Jim Cramer To Buy Bitcoin

Traditional Investors View Bitcoin As If It Were A Technology Stock

Mastercard Releases Platform Enabling Central Banks To Test Digital Currencies (#GotBitcoin?)

Being Black On Wall Street. Top Black Executives Speak Out About Racism (#GotBitcoin?)

Tesla And Bitcoin Are The Most Popular Assets On TradingView (#GotBitcoin?)

From COVID Generation To Crypto Generation (#GotBitcoin?)

Right-Winger Tucker Carlson Causes Grayscale Investments To Pull Bitcoin Ads

Bitcoin Has Lost Its Way: Here’s How To Return To Crypto’s Subversive Roots

Cross Chain Is Here: NEO, ONT, Cosmos And NEAR Launch Interoperability Protocols (#GotBitcoin?)

Crypto Trading Products Enter The Mainstream With A Number Of Inherent Advantages (#GotBitcoin?)

Crypto Goes Mainstream With TV, Newspaper Ads (#GotBitcoin?)

A Guarded Generation: How Millennials View Money And Investing (#GotBitcoin?)

Blockchain-Backed Social Media Brings More Choice For Users

California Moves Forward With Digital Asset Bill (#GotBitcoin?)

Walmart Adds Crypto Cashback Through Shopping Loyalty Platform StormX (#GotBitcoin?)

Congressman Tom Emmer To Lead First-Ever Crypto Town Hall (#GotBitcoin?)

Why It’s Time To Pay Attention To Mexico’s Booming Crypto Market (#GotBitcoin?)

The Assets That Matter Most In Crypto (#GotBitcoin?)

Ultimate Resource On Non-Fungible Tokens

Bitcoin Community Highlights Double-Standard Applied Deutsche Bank Epstein Scandal

Blockchain Makes Strides In Diversity. However, Traditional Tech Industry Not-S0-Much (#GotBitcoin?)

An Israeli Blockchain Startup Claims It’s Invented An ‘Undo’ Button For BTC Transactions

After Years of Resistance, BitPay Adopts SegWit For Cheaper Bitcoin Transactions

US Appeals Court Allows Warrantless Search of Blockchain, Exchange Data

Central Bank Rate Cuts Mean ‘World Has Gone Zimbabwe’

This Researcher Says Bitcoin’s Elliptic Curve Could Have A Secret Backdoor

China Discovers 4% Of Its Reserves Or 83 Tons Of It’s Gold Bars Are Fake (#GotBitcoin?)

Former Legg Mason Star Bill Miller And Bloomberg Are Optimistic About Bitcoin’s Future

Yield Chasers Are Yield Farming In Crypto-Currencies (#GotBitcoin?)

Australia Post Office Now Lets Customers Buy Bitcoin At Over 3,500 Outlets

Anomaly On Bitcoin Sidechain Results In Brief Security Lapse

SEC And DOJ Charges Lobbying Kingpin Jack Abramoff And Associate For Money Laundering

Veteran Commodities Trader Chris Hehmeyer Goes All In On Crypto (#GotBitcoin?)

Activists Document Police Misconduct Using Decentralized Protocol (#GotBitcoin?)

Supposedly, PayPal, Venmo To Roll Out Crypto Buying And Selling (#GotBitcoin?)

Industry Leaders Launch PayID, The Universal ID For Payments (#GotBitcoin?)

Crypto Quant Fund Debuts With $23M In Assets, $2.3B In Trades (#GotBitcoin?)

The Queens Politician Who Wants To Give New Yorkers Their Own Crypto

Why Does The SEC Want To Run Bitcoin And Ethereum Nodes?

Trump Orders Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin To Destroy Bitcoin Just Like They Destroyed The Traditional Economy

US Drug Agency Failed To Properly Supervise Agent Who Stole $700,000 In Bitcoin In 2015

Layer 2 Will Make Bitcoin As Easy To Use As The Dollar, Says Kraken CEO

Bootstrapping Mobile Mesh Networks With Bitcoin Lightning

Nevermind Coinbase — Big Brother Is Already Watching Your Coins (#GotBitcoin?)

BitPay’s Prepaid Mastercard Launches In US to Make Crypto Accessible (#GotBitcoin?)

Germany’s Deutsche Borse Exchange To List New Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Product

‘Bitcoin Billionaires’ Movie To Tell Winklevoss Bros’ Crypto Story

US Pentagon Created A War Game To Fight The Establishment With BTC (#GotBitcoin?)

JPMorgan Provides Banking Services To Crypto Exchanges Coinbase And Gemini (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Advocates Cry Foul As US Fed Buying ETFs For The First Time

Final Block Mined Before Halving Contained Reminder of BTC’s Origins (#GotBitcoin?)

Meet Brian Klein, Crypto’s Own ‘High-Stakes’ Trial Attorney (#GotBitcoin?)

3 Reasons For The Bitcoin Price ‘Halving Dump’ From $10K To $8.1K

Bitcoin Outlives And Outlasts Naysayers And First Website That Declared It Dead Back In 2010

Hedge Fund Pioneer Turns Bullish On Bitcoin Amid ‘Unprecedented’ Monetary Inflation

Antonopoulos: Chainalysis Is Helping World’s Worst Dictators & Regimes (#GotBitcoin?)

Survey Shows Many BTC Holders Use Hardware Wallet, Have Backup Keys (#GotBitcoin?)

Iran Ditches The Rial Amid Hyperinflation As Localbitcoins Seem To Trade Near $35K

Buffett ‘Killed His Reputation’ by Being Stupid About BTC, Says Max Keiser (#GotBitcoin?)

Meltem Demirors: “Bitcoin Is Not A F*Cking Systemic Hedge If You Hold Your Bitcoin At A Financial Institution”

Blockfolio Quietly Patches Years-Old Security Hole That Exposed Source Code (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Won As Store of Value In Coronavirus Crisis — Hedge Fund CEO

Decentralized VPN Gaining Steam At 100,000 Users Worldwide (#GotBitcoin?)

Crypto Exchange Offers Credit Lines so Institutions Can Trade Now, Pay Later (#GotBitcoin?)

Zoom Develops A Cryptocurrency Paywall To Reward Creators Video Conferencing Sessions (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Startup Purse.io And Major Bitcoin Cash Partner To Shut Down After 6-Year Run

Open Interest In CME Bitcoin Futures Rises 70% As Institutions Return To Market

Square’s Users Can Route Stimulus Payments To BTC-Friendly Cash App

$1.1 Billion BTC Transaction For Only $0.68 Demonstrates Bitcoin’s Advantage Over Banks

Bitcoin Could Become Like ‘Prison Cigarettes’ Amid Deepening Financial Crisis

Bitcoin Holds Value As US Debt Reaches An Unfathomable $24 Trillion

How To Get Money (Crypto-currency) To People In An Emergency, Fast

US Intelligence To Study What Would Happen If U.S. Dollar Lost Its Status As World’s Reserve Currency (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Miner Manufacturers Mark Down Prices Ahead of Halving

Privacy-Oriented Browsers Gain Traction (#GotBitcoin?)

‘Breakthrough’ As Lightning Uses Web’s Forgotten Payment Code (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Starts Quarter With Price Down Just 10% YTD vs U.S. Stock’s Worst Quarter Since 2008

Bitcoin Enthusiasts, Liberal Lawmakers Cheer A Fed-Backed Digital Dollar

Crypto-Friendly Bank Revolut Launches In The US (#GotBitcoin?)

The CFTC Just Defined What ‘Actual Delivery’ of Crypto Should Look Like (#GotBitcoin?)

Crypto CEO Compares US Dollar To Onecoin Scam As Fed Keeps Printing (#GotBitcoin?)

Stuck In Quarantine? Become A Blockchain Expert With These Online Courses (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin, Not Governments Will Save the World After Crisis, Tim Draper Says

Crypto Analyst Accused of Photoshopping Trade Screenshots (#GotBitcoin?)

QE4 Begins: Fed Cuts Rates, Buys $700B In Bonds; Bitcoin Rallies 7.7%

Mike Novogratz And Andreas Antonopoulos On The Bitcoin Crash

Amid Market Downturn, Number of People Owning 1 BTC Hits New Record (#GotBitcoin?)

Fatburger And Others Feed $30 Million Into Ethereum For New Bond Offering (#GotBitcoin?)

Pornhub Will Integrate PumaPay Recurring Subscription Crypto Payments (#GotBitcoin?)

Intel SGX Vulnerability Discovered, Cryptocurrency Keys Threatened

Bitcoin’s Plunge Due To Manipulation, Traditional Markets Falling or PlusToken Dumping?

Countries That First Outlawed Crypto But Then Embraced It (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Maintains Gains As Global Equities Slide, US Yield Hits Record Lows

HTC’s New 5G Router Can Host A Full Bitcoin Node

India Supreme Court Lifts RBI Ban On Banks Servicing Crypto Firms (#GotBitcoin?)

Analyst Claims 98% of Mining Rigs Fail to Verify Transactions (#GotBitcoin?)

Blockchain Storage Offers Security, Data Transparency And immutability. Get Over it!

Black Americans & Crypto (#GotBitcoin?)

Coinbase Wallet Now Allows To Send Crypto Through Usernames (#GotBitcoin)

New ‘Simpsons’ Episode Features Jim Parsons Giving A Crypto Explainer For The Masses (#GotBitcoin?)

Crypto-currency Founder Met With Warren Buffett For Charity Lunch (#GotBitcoin?)

Witches Love Bitcoin

Bitcoin’s Potential To Benefit The African And African-American Community

Coinbase Becomes Direct Visa Card Issuer With Principal Membership

Bitcoin Achieves Major Milestone With Half A Billion Transactions Confirmed

Jill Carlson, Meltem Demirors Back $3.3M Round For Non-Custodial Settlement Protocol Arwen

Crypto Companies Adopt Features Similar To Banks (Only Better) To Drive Growth (#GotBitcoin?)

Top Graphics Cards That Will Turn A Crypto Mining Profit (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Usage Among Merchants Is Up, According To Data From Coinbase And BitPay

Top 10 Books Recommended by Crypto (#Bitcoin) Thought Leaders

Twitter Adds Bitcoin Emoji, Jack Dorsey Suggests Unicode Does The Same

Bitcoiners Are Now Into Fasting. Read This Article To Find Out Why

You Can Now Donate Bitcoin Or Fiat To Show Your Support For All Of Our Valuable Content

2019’s Top 10 Institutional Actors In Crypto (#GotBitcoin?)

What Does Twitter’s New Decentralized Initiative Mean? (#GotBitcoin?)

Crypto-Friendly Silvergate Bank Goes Public On New York Stock Exchange (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin’s Best Q1 Since 2013 To ‘Escalate’ If $9.5K Is Broken

Billionaire Investor Tim Draper: If You’re a Millennial, Buy Bitcoin

What Are Lightning Wallets Doing To Help Onboard New Users? (#GotBitcoin?)

If You Missed Out On Investing In Amazon, Bitcoin Might Be A Second Chance For You (#GotBitcoin?)

2020 And Beyond: Bitcoin’s Potential Protocol (Privacy And Scalability) Upgrades (#GotBitcoin?)

US Deficit Will Be At Least 6 Times Bitcoin Market Cap — Every Year (#GotBitcoin?)

Central Banks Warm To Issuing Digital Currencies (#GotBitcoin?)

Meet The Crypto Angel Investor Running For Congress In Nevada (#GotBitcoin?)

Introducing BTCPay Vault – Use Any Hardware Wallet With BTCPay And Its Full Node (#GotBitcoin?)

How Not To Lose Your Coins In 2020: Alternative Recovery Methods (#GotBitcoin?)

H.R.5635 – Virtual Currency Tax Fairness Act of 2020 ($200.00 Limit) 116th Congress (2019-2020)

Adam Back On Satoshi Emails, Privacy Concerns And Bitcoin’s Early Days

The Prospect of Using Bitcoin To Build A New International Monetary System Is Getting Real

How To Raise Funds For Australia Wildfire Relief Efforts (Using Bitcoin And/Or Fiat )

Former Regulator Known As ‘Crypto Dad’ To Launch Digital-Dollar Think Tank (#GotBitcoin?)

Currency ‘Cold War’ Takes Center Stage At Pre-Davos Crypto Confab (#GotBitcoin?)

A Blockchain-Secured Home Security Camera Won Innovation Awards At CES 2020 Las Vegas

Bitcoin’s Had A Sensational 11 Years (#GotBitcoin?)

Sergey Nazarov And The Creation Of A Decentralized Network Of Oracles

Google Suspends MetaMask From Its Play App Store, Citing “Deceptive Services”

Christmas Shopping: Where To Buy With Crypto This Festive Season

At 8,990,000% Gains, Bitcoin Dwarfs All Other Investments This Decade

Coinbase CEO Armstrong Wins Patent For Tech Allowing Users To Email Bitcoin

Bitcoin Has Got Society To Think About The Nature Of Money

How DeFi Goes Mainstream In 2020: Focus On Usability (#GotBitcoin?)

Dissidents And Activists Have A Lot To Gain From Bitcoin, If Only They Knew It (#GotBitcoin?)

At A Refugee Camp In Iraq, A 16-Year-Old Syrian Is Teaching Crypto Basics

Bitclub Scheme Busted In The US, Promising High Returns From Mining

Bitcoin Advertised On French National TV

Germany: New Proposed Law Would Legalize Banks Holding Bitcoin

How To Earn And Spend Bitcoin On Black Friday 2019

The Ultimate List of Bitcoin Developments And Accomplishments

Charities Put A Bitcoin Twist On Giving Tuesday

Family Offices Finally Accept The Benefits of Investing In Bitcoin

An Army Of Bitcoin Devs Is Battle-Testing Upgrades To Privacy And Scaling

Bitcoin ‘Carry Trade’ Can Net Annual Gains With Little Risk, Says PlanB

Max Keiser: Bitcoin’s ‘Self-Settlement’ Is A Revolution Against Dollar

Blockchain Can And Will Replace The IRS

China Seizes The Blockchain Opportunity. How Should The US Respond? (#GotBitcoin?)

Jack Dorsey: You Can Buy A Fraction Of Berkshire Stock Or ‘Stack Sats’

Bitcoin Price Skyrockets $500 In Minutes As Bakkt BTC Contracts Hit Highs

Bitcoin’s Irreversibility Challenges International Private Law: Legal Scholar

Bitcoin Has Already Reached 40% Of Average Fiat Currency Lifespan

Yes, Even Bitcoin HODLers Can Lose Money In The Long-Term: Here’s How (#GotBitcoin?)

Unicef To Accept Donations In Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)

Former Prosecutor Asked To “Shut Down Bitcoin” And Is Now Face Of Crypto VC Investing (#GotBitcoin?)

Switzerland’s ‘Crypto Valley’ Is Bringing Blockchain To Zurich

Next Bitcoin Halving May Not Lead To Bull Market, Says Bitmain CEO

Tim Draper Bets On Unstoppable Domain’s .Crypto Domain Registry To Replace Wallet Addresses (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Developer Amir Taaki, “We Can Crash National Economies” (#GotBitcoin?)

Veteran Crypto And Stocks Trader Shares 6 Ways To Invest And Get Rich

Have I Missed The Boat? – Best Ways To Purchase Cryptocurrency

Is Chainlink Blazing A Trail Independent Of Bitcoin?

Nearly $10 Billion In BTC Is Held In Wallets Of 8 Crypto Exchanges (#GotBitcoin?)

SEC Enters Settlement Talks With Alleged Fraudulent Firm Veritaseum (#GotBitcoin?)

Blockstream’s Samson Mow: Bitcoin’s Block Size Already ‘Too Big’

Attorneys Seek Bank Of Ireland Execs’ Testimony Against OneCoin Scammer (#GotBitcoin?)

OpenLibra Plans To Launch Permissionless Fork Of Facebook’s Stablecoin (#GotBitcoin?)

Tiny $217 Options Trade On Bitcoin Blockchain Could Be Wall Street’s Death Knell (#GotBitcoin?)

Class Action Accuses Tether And Bitfinex Of Market Manipulation (#GotBitcoin?)

Sharia Goldbugs: How ISIS Created A Currency For World Domination (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Eyes Demand As Hong Kong Protestors Announce Bank Run (#GotBitcoin?)

How To Securely Transfer Crypto To Your Heirs

‘Gold-Backed’ Crypto Token Promoter Karatbars Investigated By Florida Regulators (#GotBitcoin?)

Crypto News From The Spanish-Speaking World (#GotBitcoin?)

Financial Services Giant Morningstar To Offer Ratings For Crypto Assets (#GotBitcoin?)

‘Gold-Backed’ Crypto Token Promoter Karatbars Investigated By Florida Regulators (#GotBitcoin?)

The Original Sins Of Cryptocurrencies (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Is The Fraud? JPMorgan Metals Desk Fixed Gold Prices For Years (#GotBitcoin?)

Israeli Startup That Allows Offline Crypto Transactions Secures $4M (#GotBitcoin?)

[PSA] Non-genuine Trezor One Devices Spotted (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Stronger Than Ever But No One Seems To Care: Google Trends (#GotBitcoin?)

First-Ever SEC-Qualified Token Offering In US Raises $23 Million (#GotBitcoin?)

You Can Now Prove A Whole Blockchain With One Math Problem – Really

Crypto Mining Supply Fails To Meet Market Demand In Q2: TokenInsight

$2 Billion Lost In Mt. Gox Bitcoin Hack Can Be Recovered, Lawyer Claims (#GotBitcoin?)

Fed Chair Says Agency Monitoring Crypto But Not Developing Its Own (#GotBitcoin?)

Wesley Snipes Is Launching A Tokenized $25 Million Movie Fund (#GotBitcoin?)

Mystery 94K BTC Transaction Becomes Richest Non-Exchange Address (#GotBitcoin?)

A Crypto Fix For A Broken International Monetary System (#GotBitcoin?)

Four Out Of Five Top Bitcoin QR Code Generators Are Scams: Report (#GotBitcoin?)

Waves Platform And The Abyss To Jointly Launch Blockchain-Based Games Marketplace (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitmain Ramps Up Power And Efficiency With New Bitcoin Mining Machine (#GotBitcoin?)

Ledger Live Now Supports Over 1,250 Ethereum-Based ERC-20 Tokens (#GotBitcoin?)

Miss Finland: Bitcoin’s Risk Keeps Most Women Away From Cryptocurrency (#GotBitcoin?)

Artist Akon Loves BTC And Says, “It’s Controlled By The People” (#GotBitcoin?)

Ledger Live Now Supports Over 1,250 Ethereum-Based ERC-20 Tokens (#GotBitcoin?)

Co-Founder Of LinkedIn Presents Crypto Rap Video: Hamilton Vs. Satoshi (#GotBitcoin?)

Crypto Insurance Market To Grow, Lloyd’s Of London And Aon To Lead (#GotBitcoin?)

No ‘AltSeason’ Until Bitcoin Breaks $20K, Says Hedge Fund Manager (#GotBitcoin?)

NSA Working To Develop Quantum-Resistant Cryptocurrency: Report (#GotBitcoin?)

Custody Provider Legacy Trust Launches Crypto Pension Plan (#GotBitcoin?)

Vaneck, SolidX To Offer Limited Bitcoin ETF For Institutions Via Exemption (#GotBitcoin?)

Russell Okung: From NFL Superstar To Bitcoin Educator In 2 Years (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Miners Made $14 Billion To Date Securing The Network (#GotBitcoin?)

Why Does Amazon Want To Hire Blockchain Experts For Its Ads Division?

Argentina’s Economy Is In A Technical Default (#GotBitcoin?)

Blockchain-Based Fractional Ownership Used To Sell High-End Art (#GotBitcoin?)

Portugal Tax Authority: Bitcoin Trading And Payments Are Tax-Free (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin ‘Failed Safe Haven Test’ After 7% Drop, Peter Schiff Gloats (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Dev Reveals Multisig UI Teaser For Hardware Wallets, Full Nodes (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Price: $10K Holds For Now As 50% Of CME Futures Set To Expire (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Realized Market Cap Hits $100 Billion For The First Time (#GotBitcoin?)

Stablecoins Begin To Look Beyond The Dollar (#GotBitcoin?)

Bank Of England Governor: Libra-Like Currency Could Replace US Dollar (#GotBitcoin?)

Binance Reveals ‘Venus’ — Its Own Project To Rival Facebook’s Libra (#GotBitcoin?)

The Real Benefits Of Blockchain Are Here. They’re Being Ignored (#GotBitcoin?)

CommBank Develops Blockchain Market To Boost Biodiversity (#GotBitcoin?)

SEC Approves Blockchain Tech Startup Securitize To Record Stock Transfers (#GotBitcoin?)

SegWit Creator Introduces New Language For Bitcoin Smart Contracts (#GotBitcoin?)

You Can Now Earn Bitcoin Rewards For Postmates Purchases (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Price ‘Will Struggle’ In Big Financial Crisis, Says Investor (#GotBitcoin?)

Fidelity Charitable Received Over $100M In Crypto Donations Since 2015 (#GotBitcoin?)

Would Blockchain Better Protect User Data Than FaceApp? Experts Answer (#GotBitcoin?)

Just The Existence Of Bitcoin Impacts Monetary Policy (#GotBitcoin?)

What Are The Biggest Alleged Crypto Heists And How Much Was Stolen? (#GotBitcoin?)

IRS To Cryptocurrency Owners: Come Clean, Or Else!

Coinbase Accidentally Saves Unencrypted Passwords Of 3,420 Customers (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Is A ‘Chaos Hedge, Or Schmuck Insurance‘ (#GotBitcoin?)

Bakkt Announces September 23 Launch Of Futures And Custody

Coinbase CEO: Institutions Depositing $200-400M Into Crypto Per Week (#GotBitcoin?)

Researchers Find Monero Mining Malware That Hides From Task Manager (#GotBitcoin?)

Crypto Dusting Attack Affects Nearly 300,000 Addresses (#GotBitcoin?)

A Case For Bitcoin As Recession Hedge In A Diversified Investment Portfolio (#GotBitcoin?)

SEC Guidance Gives Ammo To Lawsuit Claiming XRP Is Unregistered Security (#GotBitcoin?)

15 Countries To Develop Crypto Transaction Tracking System: Report (#GotBitcoin?)

US Department Of Commerce Offering 6-Figure Salary To Crypto Expert (#GotBitcoin?)

Mastercard Is Building A Team To Develop Crypto, Wallet Projects (#GotBitcoin?)

Canadian Bitcoin Educator Scams The Scammer And Donates Proceeds (#GotBitcoin?)

Amazon Wants To Build A Blockchain For Ads, New Job Listing Shows (#GotBitcoin?)

Shield Bitcoin Wallets From Theft Via Time Delay (#GotBitcoin?)

Blockstream Launches Bitcoin Mining Farm With Fidelity As Early Customer (#GotBitcoin?)

Commerzbank Tests Blockchain Machine To Machine Payments With Daimler (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin’s Historical Returns Look Very Attractive As Online Banks Lower Payouts On Savings Accounts (#GotBitcoin?)

Man Takes Bitcoin Miner Seller To Tribunal Over Electricity Bill And Wins (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin’s Computing Power Sets Record As Over 100K New Miners Go Online (#GotBitcoin?)

Walmart Coin And Libra Perform Major Public Relations For Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)

Judge Says Buying Bitcoin Via Credit Card Not Necessarily A Cash Advance (#GotBitcoin?)

Poll: If You’re A Stockowner Or Crypto-Currency Holder. What Will You Do When The Recession Comes?

1 In 5 Crypto Holders Are Women, New Report Reveals (#GotBitcoin?)

Beating Bakkt, Ledgerx Is First To Launch ‘Physical’ Bitcoin Futures In Us (#GotBitcoin?)

Facebook Warns Investors That Libra Stablecoin May Never Launch (#GotBitcoin?)

Government Money Printing Is ‘Rocket Fuel’ For Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin-Friendly Square Cash App Stock Price Up 56% In 2019 (#GotBitcoin?)

Safeway Shoppers Can Now Get Bitcoin Back As Change At 894 US Stores (#GotBitcoin?)

TD Ameritrade CEO: There’s ‘Heightened Interest Again’ With Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)

Venezuela Sets New Bitcoin Volume Record Thanks To 10,000,000% Inflation (#GotBitcoin?)

Newegg Adds Bitcoin Payment Option To 73 More Countries (#GotBitcoin?)

China’s Schizophrenic Relationship With Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)

More Companies Build Products Around Crypto Hardware Wallets (#GotBitcoin?)

Bakkt Is Scheduled To Start Testing Its Bitcoin Futures Contracts Today (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Network Now 8 Times More Powerful Than It Was At $20K Price (#GotBitcoin?)

Crypto Exchange BitMEX Under Investigation By CFTC: Bloomberg (#GotBitcoin?)

“Bitcoin An ‘Unstoppable Force,” Says US Congressman At Crypto Hearing (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Network Is Moving $3 Billion Daily, Up 210% Since April (#GotBitcoin?)

Cryptocurrency Startups Get Partial Green Light From Washington

Fundstrat’s Tom Lee: Bitcoin Pullback Is Healthy, Fewer Searches Аre Good (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Lightning Nodes Are Snatching Funds From Bad Actors (#GotBitcoin?)

The Provident Bank Now Offers Deposit Services For Crypto-Related Entities (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Could Help Stop News Censorship From Space (#GotBitcoin?)

US Sanctions On Iran Crypto Mining — Inevitable Or Impossible? (#GotBitcoin?)

US Lawmaker Reintroduces ‘Safe Harbor’ Crypto Tax Bill In Congress (#GotBitcoin?)

EU Central Bank Won’t Add Bitcoin To Reserves — Says It’s Not A Currency (#GotBitcoin?)

The Miami Dolphins Now Accept Bitcoin And Litecoin Crypt-Currency Payments (#GotBitcoin?)

Trump Bashes Bitcoin And Alt-Right Is Mad As Hell (#GotBitcoin?)

Goldman Sachs Ramps Up Development Of New Secret Crypto Project (#GotBitcoin?)

Blockchain And AI Bond, Explained (#GotBitcoin?)

Grayscale Bitcoin Trust Outperformed Indexes In First Half Of 2019 (#GotBitcoin?)

XRP Is The Worst Performing Major Crypto Of 2019 (GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Back Near $12K As BTC Shorters Lose $44 Million In One Morning (#GotBitcoin?)

As Deutsche Bank Axes 18K Jobs, Bitcoin Offers A ‘Plan ฿”: VanEck Exec (#GotBitcoin?)

Argentina Drives Global LocalBitcoins Volume To Highest Since November (#GotBitcoin?)

‘I Would Buy’ Bitcoin If Growth Continues — Investment Legend Mobius (#GotBitcoin?)

Lawmakers Push For New Bitcoin Rules (#GotBitcoin?)

Facebook’s Libra Is Bad For African Americans (#GotBitcoin?)

Crypto Firm Charity Announces Alliance To Support Feminine Health (#GotBitcoin?)

Canadian Startup Wants To Upgrade Millions Of ATMs To Sell Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)

Trump Says US ‘Should Match’ China’s Money Printing Game (#GotBitcoin?)

Casa Launches Lightning Node Mobile App For Bitcoin Newbies (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Rally Fuels Market In Crypto Derivatives (#GotBitcoin?)

World’s First Zero-Fiat ‘Bitcoin Bond’ Now Available On Bloomberg Terminal (#GotBitcoin?)

Buying Bitcoin Has Been Profitable 98.2% Of The Days Since Creation (#GotBitcoin?)

Another Crypto Exchange Receives License For Crypto Futures

From ‘Ponzi’ To ‘We’re Working On It’ — BIS Chief Reverses Stance On Crypto (#GotBitcoin?)

These Are The Cities Googling ‘Bitcoin’ As Interest Hits 17-Month High (#GotBitcoin?)

Venezuelan Explains How Bitcoin Saves His Family (#GotBitcoin?)

Quantum Computing Vs. Blockchain: Impact On Cryptography

This Fund Is Riding Bitcoin To Top (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin’s Surge Leaves Smaller Digital Currencies In The Dust (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Exchange Hits $1 Trillion In Trading Volume (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Breaks $200 Billion Market Cap For The First Time In 17 Months (#GotBitcoin?)

You Can Now Make State Tax Payments In Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)

Religious Organizations Make Ideal Places To Mine Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)

Goldman Sacs And JP Morgan Chase Finally Concede To Crypto-Currencies (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Heading For Fifth Month Of Gains Despite Price Correction (#GotBitcoin?)

Breez Reveals Lightning-Powered Bitcoin Payments App For IPhone (#GotBitcoin?)

Big Four Auditing Firm PwC Releases Cryptocurrency Auditing Software (#GotBitcoin?)

Amazon-Owned Twitch Quietly Brings Back Bitcoin Payments (#GotBitcoin?)

JPMorgan Will Pilot ‘JPM Coin’ Stablecoin By End Of 2019: Report (#GotBitcoin?)

Is There A Big Short In Bitcoin? (#GotBitcoin?)

Coinbase Hit With Outage As Bitcoin Price Drops $1.8K In 15 Minutes

Samourai Wallet Releases Privacy-Enhancing CoinJoin Feature (#GotBitcoin?)

There Are Now More Than 5,000 Bitcoin ATMs Around The World (#GotBitcoin?)

You Can Now Get Bitcoin Rewards When Booking At Hotels.Com (#GotBitcoin?)

North America’s Largest Solar Bitcoin Mining Farm Coming To California (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin On Track For Best Second Quarter Price Gain On Record (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Hash Rate Climbs To New Record High Boosting Network Security (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Exceeds 1Million Active Addresses While Coinbase Custodies $1.3B In Assets

Why Bitcoin’s Price Suddenly Surged Back $5K (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin’s Lightning Comes To Apple Smartwatches With New App (#GotBitcoin?)

E-Trade To Offer Crypto Trading (#GotBitcoin)

US Rapper Lil Pump Starts Accepting Bitcoin Via Lightning Network On Merchandise Store (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitfinex Used Tether Reserves To Mask Missing $850 Million, Probe Finds (#GotBitcoin?)

21-Year-Old Jailed For 10 Years After Stealing $7.5M In Crypto By Hacking Cell Phones (#GotBitcoin?)

You Can Now Shop With Bitcoin On Amazon Using Lightning (#GotBitcoin?)

Afghanistan, Tunisia To Issue Sovereign Bonds In Bitcoin, Bright Future Ahead (#GotBitcoin?)

Crypto Faithful Say Blockchain Can Remake Securities Market Machinery (#GotBitcoin?)

Disney In Talks To Acquire The Owner Of Crypto Exchanges Bitstamp And Korbit (#GotBitcoin?)

Crypto Exchange Gemini Rolls Out Native Wallet Support For SegWit Bitcoin Addresses (#GotBitcoin?)

Binance Delists Bitcoin SV, CEO Calls Craig Wright A ‘Fraud’ (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Outperforms Nasdaq 100, S&P 500, Grows Whopping 37% In 2019 (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Passes A Milestone 400 Million Transactions (#GotBitcoin?)

Future Returns: Why Investors May Want To Consider Bitcoin Now (#GotBitcoin?)

Next Bitcoin Core Release To Finally Connect Hardware Wallets To Full Nodes (#GotBitcoin?)

Major Crypto-Currency Exchanges Use Lloyd’s Of London, A Registered Insurance Broker (#GotBitcoin?)

How Bitcoin Can Prevent Fraud And Chargebacks (#GotBitcoin?)

Why Bitcoin’s Price Suddenly Surged Back $5K (#GotBitcoin?)

Zebpay Becomes First Exchange To Add Lightning Payments For All Users (#GotBitcoin?)

Coinbase’s New Customer Incentive: Interest Payments, With A Crypto Twist (#GotBitcoin?)

The Best Bitcoin Debit (Cashback) Cards Of 2019 (#GotBitcoin?)

Real Estate Brokerages Now Accepting Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)

Ernst & Young Introduces Tax Tool For Reporting Cryptocurrencies (#GotBitcoin?)

How Will Bitcoin Behave During A Recession? (#GotBitcoin?)

Investors Run Out of Options As Bitcoin, Stocks, Bonds, Oil Cave To Recession Fears (#GotBitcoin?)

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