Crypto News Updates

Bitcoin Mining Firm Bitfarms To Be Traded On Nasdaq

Toronto-based Bitcoin mining firm Bitfarms expects to begin trading under “BITF” on the Nasdaq stock market on June 21.

Toronto-based Bitcoin mining business Bitfarms has announced that it will begin trading under the symbol “BITF” on Nasdaq on June 21. Common shares of the company have received DTC eligibility and it will retain its listing on the TSX Venture Exchange, according to a tweet thread from the company.

“Listing on Nasdaq is an important achievement for Bitfarms and is a significant milestone following multiple years of development and achievement by the company,” per the thread, which was quoting CEO Emiliano Grodzki. “We started this company four years ago with a clear belief in the institutional adoption of Bitcoin and Bitcoin mining.”

The thread also indicated that the Nasdaq listing will make Bitfarms the largest publicly-traded Bitcoin miner in North America that uses nearly 100% hydroelectric, renewable energy. While often misguided concerns around the energy consumption of Bitcoin mining have existed for years, the debate around this issue has reignited recently. Bitfarms’ reliance on renewable energy sources is one example of how bitcoin mining is a remarkably efficient method of converting energy to value.

The listing will see Bitfarms join a short list of bitcoin mining companies available on Nasdaq, which also includes Marathon Digital Holdings and Riot Blockchain.

In 2019, Bitfarms expanded its mining operations in Quebec and earlier this year, it joined Foundry USA Pool, boosting its operating hash rate by 15%.

“We are proud to be a leader in the industry in setting the highest standards for ourselves and our mining operations and to be uplisting to one of the most prestigious stock exchanges in the world,” Grodzki said, per the thread. “Having reached this milestone we are even more excited about where it will take our company next.” 

Source: Bitcoin magazine

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Lolli Bitcoin Rewards App Available On iOS

Bitcoin rewards platform Lolli has launched a mobile app available on iOS devices.

Bitcoin rewards platform Lolli has announced the launch of a mobile app available on iOS devices.

The app gives users the ability to take advantage of Lolli’s “sats-back” ecommerce model, which offers bitcoin rewards for purchases and mainstream retailers including Microsoft, Kroger and Ulta Beauty. Previously, this was only available through Lolli’s web extension.

“The Lolli bitcoin rewards app offers even greater reward accessibility for mobile shopping and includes premium reward rates, a growing merchant network, referral bonuses, the option to view rewards in bitcoin or satoshis, Daily Stacks and faster reward confirmation times,” according to a press release shared with Bitcoin Magazine. “Lolli currently offers up to 30% and an average of 7% back in bitcoin rewards, and has already given over $3.5 million in merchant-funded bitcoin rewards to its users.”

The release added that “Daily Stacks” refers to an animated loot box within the app that gives users the chance to win one million satoshis (worth about $377 at the time of this writing) on a daily basis.

“We believe everyone should be able to easily earn bitcoin on every purchase on every device, and mobile shopping is just another step toward achieving that goal,” Lolli CTO Matt Senter said, per the release.

Lolli CEO Alex Adelman has been a vocal proponent of driving bitcoin adoption through commerce, with sats-back rewards eventually empowering more people to become full-fledged Bitcoiners.

“The next stage — these earners are going to become spenders,” as Adelman explained to Bitcoin Magazine in 2019. “Once they hold bitcoin, they’re going to want to spend it.”

Source: Bitcoin magazine

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Video Showing Media Bias Around Bitcoin And Black Audiences Prompts Questions About Culture

A video suggesting that a local news producer omitted Bitcoin stories for black audiences raised questions about biases and Bitcoin culture.

A Twitter video presented by former FOX 26 reporter Ivory Hecker, who is working to expose what she sees as network corruption and bias, seems to show an assistant news director at the station explaining the intentional withholding of news coverage about Bitcoin from black audiences.

“I have passed on Bitcoin stories,” a woman identified in the video as Lee Meier, assistant news director at FOX 26, said.

“African-American audience at five, it’s probably not gonna play. That’s a choice I’m making, an editorial choice,” Meier continued, after a cut in the video.

Despite the statement including little context and appearing cut together and recorded as a video call on a smartphone, it has generated a meaningful conversation about media bias and a general failure to recognize that black people are and should be interested in Bitcoin.

This conversation was perpetuated on Twitter by Isaiah Jackson, a founder of Black Bitcoin Billionaire (BBB), an advocacy group focused on education and onboarding for Bitcoin in the black community.

“RT this post if you are Black and HODL #Bitcoin, these people don’t think we are out here,” Jackson wrote as he shared the clip.

“This rhetoric follows a long tradition of figures outside of our community who take the liberty to dictate what we should or should not be exposed to without any input from ourselves,” Ian Gaines, operations director at BBB, told Bitcoin Magazine. “Every time a voice outside of our culture tries to speak for us without first consulting, they have always been on the wrong side of history. This is just another drop in the proverbial ocean of blind arrogance.”

The apparent media bias revealed in the video demonstrated a larger assumption about Bitcoin that Black Bitcoin Billionaire is attempting to dissolve — that Bitcoin culture is only relevant or interesting to white males.

“No one group has a claim to Bitcoin culture, the system is decentralized and accessible to all, and in order for the protocol to truly succeed on a global scale, it must incorporate a global perspective,” Gaines added. “We combat by owning our narrative. This example with the editor is why we created BBB in the first place.”

Source: Bitcoin magazine

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Bitcoin Mining Firm Luxor Raises $5 Million In Round Led By NYDIG

Bitcoin mining company Luxor Technology has raised $5 million in a round led by NYDIG, which will also partner with Luxor on mining projects.

Luxor Technology Corporation, a bitcoin mining pool and software company, has announced the conclusion of a $5 million series A financing round led by institutional Bitcoin firm NYDIG.

According to a release sent to Bitcoin Magazine, Luxor and NYDIG will also collaborate on mining-related and hash rate products. Mining groups Blockware Solutions, Celsius Network, DPO, Navier and Supplybit also participated, as did Bitnomial, Hodl Capital and Routemaster.

Luxor has offered products like Hashrate Index, a platform for transparent information on the revenue bitcoin miners should expect; North American bitcoin mining pool software servers; and Luxor Switch, a profit-switching algorithm that transfers miners’ hash rates between different blockchains and pays them in bitcoin.

Statements in the release positioned the partnership between Luxor and NYDIG as one that would hasten the migration of more global Bitcoin hash power to North America. Currently the majority of this hash rate comes from mining pools based in China, but the landscape appears to be shifting.

“Luxor is uniquely positioned to capitalize on industry tailwinds that see hash rate continuing to migrate to North America,” said Nick Hansen, the CEO of Luxor, per the release. “With NYDIG’s exceptional track record, reputation and talent we will be able to revolutionize the way hash rate is harnessed, valued, traded and hedged.”

Source: Bitcoin magazine

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El Salvador To Declare Bitcoin As Legal Tender

The government of El Salvador will declare bitcoin as legal tender, according to an announcement from its president.

In a recorded announcement played today at the Bitcoin 2021 conference, the president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, announced that the country’s government would declare bitcoin as legal tender.

“Next week I will send to congress a bill that will make bitcoin a legal tender,” he said.

The presentation was hosted by Jack Mallers, founder of Lightning Network payments platform Strike, who has been working with Bukele to determine the logistics of this historic move.

“Over 70% of the active population of El Salvador doesn’t have a bank account. They’re not in the financial system,” Mallers said. “They asked me to help write a plan and that they viewed bitcoin as a world-class currency and that we needed to put together a Bitcoin plan to help these people.”

In declaring bitcoin legal tender, El Salvador has become the first country to onboard to a non-fiat currency. Because bitcoin is issued programmatically and does not fall under the control of any third party or central bank, El Salvador is now uniquely positioned to take advantage of Bitcoin’s unique properties, particularly as a store of value that is provably scarce and natively digital.

According to Mallers, the country is now working with Bitcoin businesses and platforms to determine logistical solutions for the move.

Mallers said he would provide an open-source guide to the process called Bitcoin For Countries.

El Salvador is already home to one of the world’s most bitcoin-forward communities in El Zonte, which is home to the Bitcoin Beach project that has created a circular BTC economy there. Bitcoin Beach also sponsors the country’s national surf teams and is working to build a surf and community center in honor of one of its members.

Source: Bitcoin magazine

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SatoshiLabs Announces Trezor Suite UI Platform At Bitcoin 2021

Hardware wallet manufacturer SatoshiLabs has announced a new user interface platform for its Trezor product, called Trezor Suite.

SatoshiLabs, the manufacturer behind bitcoin hardware wallet product Trezor, has announced a new user interface platform called Trezor Suite, launching on July 14.

In a video announcement shared at the Bitcoin 2021 event, the SatoshiLabs team explained that its forthcoming desktop app offers a new layout for users to interact with the bitcoin protected by the private keys stored on their Trezor, as well as new technical features.

“It’s sort of like a new stack from the technological point of view, but also it comes with a new design,” explained Matěj Žák, head of product at SatoshiLabs, in the video announcement.

Trezor Suite also offers new features like a replace-by-fee (RBF) button, which lets users replace a version of their unconfirmed bitcoin transactions with versions that pay higher transaction fees and thus incentivize miners to confirm them. And through an integration with SatoshiLabs’ Invity exchange, users can also buy, sell, exchange or spend bitcoin using the app.

It also integrates anonymous web software Tor at the click of the button, and offers a “discreet mode” that obscures the sensitive information presented on the screen.

The SatoshiLabs team also noted that it plans to add more features soon, like support for CoinJoin bitcoin mixing and a mobile version.

Trezor will be hosting a Twitter Spaces talk with Unchained Capital and Braiins to discuss the ongoing Bitcoin 2021 conference.

Source: Bitcoin magazine

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Google Ad Policy Updates Require Regulatory Compliance From Bitcoin Exchanges And Wallets

Google has updated its requirements for bitcoin exchange and wallet advertisements, requiring FinCEN, state and federal compliance.

Web search giant Google plans to update its requirements for advertisements from bitcoin-focused businesses next month.

“In August 2021, Google will update the Financial products and services policy to clarify the scope and requirements to allow the advertisement of cryptocurrency related business and services,” according to a statement from the company. “Beginning August 3, advertisers offering Cryptocurrency Exchanges and Wallets targeting the United States may advertise those products and services when they meet the following requirements and are certified by Google.”

The statement went on to list that these businesses will need to be registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) as money services businesses and with at least one state as money transmitters, or with federal- or state-chartered bank entities. They will also need to comply with legal requirements set by state and federal authorities.

Any existing cryptocurrency exchange certifications will be revoked on August 3, and advertisers will have to seek out new certifications with Google when it publishes an application form on July 8, 2021.

The statement also clarified that “Ads for initial coin offerings [ICOs], DeFi trading protocols, or otherwise promoting the purchase, sale or trade of cryptocurrencies or related products” will not be allowed. ICO presales, cryptocurrency loans, initial decentralized exchange (DEX) offerings, token liquidity pools, celebrity cryptocurrency endorsements, unhosted wallets and unregulated decentralized applications were all listed as examples of things that cannot be advertised.

Google has generated 30% of worldwide digital ad revenue in recent years, and its advertising policy can have major influence on the success of businesses. Regulatory requirements enforced through these policies could very well determine the success of many bitcoin exchanges or wallets. 

Source: Bitcoin magazine

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bitFlyer Bridges Global Markets By Opening U.S. Access To Japanese Yen Pair For Bitcoin

Japanese bitcoin exchange bitFlyer has opened access to the BTC/Japanese yen trading pair for U.S. users, improving Japanese market access.

Bitcoin exchange bitFlyer has opened access to its BTC/Japanese yen trading pair for U.S. customers, according to a release sent to Bitcoin Magazine.

The option opens new access to Japan’s bitcoin market for U.S. traders. The bitFlyer team announced the new access at the Bitcoin 2021 conference.

“Thanks to the launch of cross-border trading on bitFlyer USA, American traders can now access a regulated JPY market for buying and selling bitcoin, and capture its unique trading opportunities,” per the release. “bitFlyer is Japan’s leading cryptocurrency exchange by volume and manages the largest BTC/JPY market. In the first quarter of 2021, bitFlyer’s BTC/JPY spot market posted over $30 billion in trading volume, representing 40% of the Japanese Bitcoin ecosystem.”

The announcement added that bitFlyer’s yen market is as large as or larger than the BTC/USD market of major exchanges like Bitstamp, Kraken and Gemini.

“Over the last few years, Japan has been the second largest market in the bitcoin ecosystem, behind the U.S. dollar, with wide adoption of crypto both among traders and in day-to-day purchases,” according to the announcement. “Historically, however, access to Japanese markets was limited due to regulatory constraints, creating significant gaps in price and a somewhat siloed ecosystem from the rest of the world. By opening up access to U.S. traders, bitFlyer will be the gateway to connect the Japanese market to the wider cryptocurrency ecosystem.”

Source: Bitcoin magazine

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One River Files To Offer Carbon Neutral Bitcoin ETF

Asset management firm One River has filed for regulatory approval to offer a bitcoin ETF that would purchase carbon credits.

Asset management firm One River has filed for regulatory approval to offer a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) that would be carbon neutral through the purchase of carbon credits.

The One River Carbon Neutral Bitcoin Trust, as the product would be called, will factor in adjustments to reflect the current spot prices of carbon credits needed to offset the “estimated carbon footprint attributable to each bitcoin,” per a filing with the U.S. Securities And Exchange Commission.

Through a partnership with Moss Earth, based in Uruguay, the trust would purchase MCO2 tokens which represent certified reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

“The MCO2 tokens issued by Moss are assets encrypted and tokenized utilizing blockchain technology and are stored on a registry managed by Verra,” according to the filing. “Each circulating MCO2 token is intended to represent a claim on a certified carbon credit held in an aggregated pool of carbon credits within the Moss account on the Verra Registry.”

Many firms in the U.S. have applied to offer a bitcoin ETF, as institutional interest in BTC ramps up, but none have yet been approved. And Bitcoin’s energy consumption has been a hot topic lately, with many firms indicating plans to mine BTC in environmentally-friendly ways.

Source: Bitcoin magazine

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China's Latest Bitcoin "Ban" Is Impacting Mining, Exchange Landscape

The latest efforts in China to regulate Bitcoin seems to be having a significant effect on mining and exchange businesses.

Last week, news surfaced that China had banned financial institutions in the country from offering Bitcoin services and that it will be cracking down on mining. Many in the Bitcoin community (this publication included) met the news with rolling eyes — China has historically “banned” its businesses from using Bitcoin many times with little impact and it’s also not technically possible to outright ban Bitcoin from personal use.

However, it’s clear that this latest regulatory measure is having a very tangible impact on the Bitcoin ecosystem as miners and exchanges based in the country are limiting or putting an end to their Bitcoin-focused activities.

Bitcoin mining businesses BTC.TOP, HashCow and Huobi Mall, for instance, have all reacted to the latest ban. Huobi Mall has reportedly suspended cryptocurrency mining that serves Chinese clients, BTC.TOP has suspended its China-based business and HashCow will stop buying new bitcoin mining rigs, per Reuters.

“On Sunday, [bitcoin] prices slumped as ‘miners,’ who mint crypto by verifying transactions, halted Chinese operations in the face of increased scrutiny from authorities,” Reuters reported. “The trigger for the initial crypto selloff appeared to come from toughening language from Chinese regulators.”

The bitcoin exchange landscape appears to be in line for significant change as well. Those operating in Hong Kong, at least, will now be required to obtain a license from the city’s market regulators and will only be allowed to provide services to professional investors.

“Dozens of cryptocurrency exchanges operate in Hong Kong, including some of the world’s largest,” according to a follow up Reuters report. “According to Hong Kong law, an individual must have a portfolio of HK$8 million ($1.03 million) to count as a professional investor.”

While Bitcoin is not dependent on the approval of any government or other third party to function, it appears that China’s latest regulations will be changing the landscape of Bitcoin business, at least in the short term. 

Source: Bitcoin magazine