Amid IRS bounty and competitor progress, Monero developers ship a major update

First announced in September, Monero developers today went live with a network update featuring a new version of its node software, codenamed ‘Oxygen Orion.’ The product of 30 contributors, the update promises significant improvement across nearly all aspects of the privacy-focused cryptocurrency’s performance.  The highlight of the new update is the compact linkable spontaneous anonymous group (CLSAG) feature. According to the Monero blog, CLSAG will reduce transaction sizes by 25% and improve transaction times by 10% while maintaining transactional privacy. The developers wrote:  “CLSAG enables smaller and faster transactions with…

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Square’s Major Bitcoin Buy: Puts 1% of Total Assets Worth $50 Million in BTC

Square Inc. has put 1% of its total assets in bitcoin worth about $50 million. The company believes that “cryptocurrency is an instrument of economic empowerment and provides a way for the world to participate in a global monetary system.” Square’s Major Bitcoin Buy Square Inc. announced Thursday that it has bought approximately 4,709 bitcoins at an aggregate purchase price of $50 million. The NYSE-listed company (NYSE: SQ) with a market cap of $81 billion provides software and hardware payments products and small business services. The San Francisco-based company has…

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The Story Of Silk Road, Bitcoin’s First Major Use Case – Bitcoin Magazine

This article originally appeared in Bitcoin Magazine‘s 10th anniversary print edition. Silk Road, the online marketplace named for the historic network of trade routes established during the Han Dynasty, went live in February 2011. Its domain was accessible only on the so-called “dark web” via the encrypted and anonymous network software Tor. This eBay for the internet’s underworld was the first of its kind: a clandestine marketplace for the buying and selling of (mostly) illicit substances with bitcoin.  It put bitcoin in the hands of countless new users, demonstrated firsthand…

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South Korean Police Seize Shares From Major Bithumb Shareholder

South Korean police have seized shares in Bithumb, the country’s biggest crypto exchange. The shares belong to Bithumb Korea director and major shareholder Kim Byung-Geon. According to a local media report, the police raid – the third on the exchange this month – follows a September 14 ruling from the Seoul Central District Court. The seizure was executed on September 16 at Bithumb’s Gangnam office by accounting firm Samjong KPMG, which will also shortlist additional shareholdings to be sold in Bithumb Holdings. The accountants are overseeing the sale of the…

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Major South Korean Crypto Exchange Raided by Police in Alleged $25.2M Fraud Case

South Korean police raided the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Bithumb on September 2 as part of an investigation of fraud allegedly committed by the organization’s main shareholder. With the recorded number of visitors to the platform touching 4.11 million between May and July, Bithumb is the largest exchange in the country. According to a local publication, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency’s Intelligent Crime Investigation Unit “searched and seized premises” used by the exchange as headquarters in Gangnam-gu, Seoul. Police action appears to stem from the alleged investment fraud committed at…

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Major Swiss Insurer Adds Bitcoin and Ether Payments

Atupri, a Swiss health insurance provider, said Monday that its 200,000 customers will now be able to make payments using bitcoin and ethereum. The 110-year old firm claims it is the “first” insurer in Switzerland to accept cryptocurrencies. In a statement, Atupri said payments will be made through local regulated crypto financial firm Bitcoin Suisse, with which it has partnered. The Bern-based health company will not hold any bitcoin (BTC) or ether (ETH), only the converted cash it receives from Bitcoin Suisse. “As digital pioneers in the health sector, we…

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Akon Unveils Major Details of $6 Billion Cryptocurrency City: Real-Life Wakanda

Akon has released detailed plans of Akon City, his $6 billion futuristic cryptocurrency city, which he calls a “real-life Wakanda,” referring to the hit movie Black Panther. There will be seven major districts, and the city will be run on the akoin cryptocurrency. Akon City’s Details Officially Revealed Senegalese-American star and philanthropist Akon, whose full name is Aliaune Damala Badara Akon Thiam, unveiled Monday some major details of his planned Akon City. The $6 billion futuristic city in Senegal, Africa, will be run on the akoin cryptocurrency. The city will…

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Major Swiss health insurance company now accepts crypto payments

A major health insurance provider in Switzerland has made Bitcoin and Ether payments available to its policyholders. According to an Aug. 31 announcement, Atupri Health Insurance is partnering with crypto financial services company Bitcoin Suisse for its 200,000 customers to make payments using Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH). Atupri, based in Bern, will not be holding any digital assets itself, but rather just receiving fiat payments in Swiss francs once the BTC or ETH is exchanged by Bitcoin Suisse. The insurance company — with roughly $887 million in annual sales…

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Major Chinese Bank Launches Central Bank Digital Currency Wallet Briefly

One of China’s biggest banks recently opened up registration for wallets using the country’s central bank-backed digital currency. There are four levels of the wallet, according to reports. However, the bank took the offer down a few hours later. China’s Digital Currency Wallet Launch China Construction Bank (CCB), one of the country’s largest state-owned banks, reportedly launched a digital renminbi wallet in its official app Saturday, Sina reported citing a 21st Century Business Herald reporter. Users in the areas where the digital yuan is being tested, such as those in…

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Two DeFi projects with $1.2B in TLV have major governance issues

Curve Finance is currently the third largest DeFi protocol, with a total value locked, or TVL, of $1.1 billion. Recently the community realized that the project’s founder, Michael Egorov, had leveraged over 71% of the voting power, ultimately leading to backlash from the community. Andre Cronje, the founder of popular DeFi protocol yEarn.Finance, tweeted: Source: Twitter. The protocol’s next vote is scheduled for August 28. While Egorov’s share has gone down somewhat, he still controls over 50% of the vote at press time. YFValue was launched last week with a congenital…

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