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Nonprofit Launches Blockchain Platform for Credit History in Sierra Leone

San Francisco-based nonprofit Kiva, a company that crowdfunds loans for financial inclusion, has launched a blockchain platform for credit history with the government of Sierra Leone. According to a Reuters report on Aug. 21, Kiva and President of Sierra Leone Julius Maada Bio jointly launched the blockchain initiative in the country’s capital.  The platform will use biometric data collected by the government, such as fingerprints, in order to access the credit history of citizens in the country. This will purportedly give a way for lenders to obtain citizens’ credit history….

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Miniscript: How Blockstream Engineers Are Making Bitcoin Programming Easy(er)

Bitcoin offered the first smart contract programming language the world had ever seen. Script, as this language is called, lets users encode different conditions under which coins can be spent. But while this was a revolutionary concept, it’s not easy to use, especially for more complex spending conditions. Both writing a complex contract as well as verifying that the contract does what it is supposed to do are prone to human error. Yet, especially with money at stake, correct interpretation of the conditions is of the utmost importance. Over the…

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Bitcoin Price Back Under $10K Closer to ‘Ideal Buy Zone,’ Says Trader

After failing to reclaim the $11,000 threshold yesterday, Bitcoin (BTC) price has dropped again to four figures. After the biggest cryptocurrency rapidly dropped $700 in minutes earlier today, the bearish movement continued as Bitcoin dipped below $10,000 price mark. Market visualization | Source: Coin360 At press time, Bitcoin is trading at $9,983, down 6.5% over the past 24 hours. Over the past 7 days, Bitcoin is down around 4.3% percent after reaching an intra-week high of $10,929 on Aug. 19. Bitcoin 7-day price chart | Source: Coin360 The latest drop…

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Bitcoin Hash Rate ‘Not Affected’ as China Floods Knock Out Miners

Bitcoin (BTC) network hash rate remains near all-time highs despite fresh turmoil in China as floods wipe out mining operators.  Bitcoin mining farm ‘devastated’ As various Twitter users reported on Aug. 20, the rainy season in China’s northwestern Sichuan province has spelled disaster for at least one Bitcoin mining farm. According to cryptocurrency mining pool Poolin, the fourth-largest active pool on the Bitcoin network, the floods completely destroyed the farm, leaving workers to rescue equipment from the silt left by the floodwaters. “A local mining farm based in Sichuan, China…

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Bitcoin Price ‘Will Struggle’ in Big Financial Crisis, Says Investor

Spencer Bogart, a general partner at venture capital firm Blockchain Capital, thinks that Bitcoin (BTC) will be a safe haven in the long term. However, he has a nuanced view of how BTC price will play out with respect to various economic events. Bogart shared his views during an interview with Bloomberg on Aug. 20. According to him, risks of monetary devaluation can drive Bitcoin’s price up. Bogart commented: “I think longer term Bitcoin will absolutely be a safe haven […] I think that when you have looming risks of…

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Blockchain Firm TZero Adds Ravencoin to Supported Cryptocurrencies

Blockchain company tZero added Ravencoin (RVN) to the list of cryptocurrencies supported by its tZero Crypto cryptocurrency wallet and trading app. Ravencoin now supported on the tZero app TZero announced in a press release published on Aug. 20 that Ravencoin will be joining Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) among the cryptocurrencies supported by its trading and wallet tZero Crypto app, available for iOS and Android devices. Per the release, the company submitted the updated iOS app supporting the crypto asset to the store yesterday, while the update for the Android…

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Bitfinex and Tether Respond to New York Judge, Will Pursue Appeals

Bitfinex and Tether have replied to Judge Joel Cohen’s recent ruling in the New York Attorney General (NYAG) ongoing case against companies. Cohen dismissed Bitfinex’s motion to throw out the case due to lack of jurisdiction, so the NYAG will continue to prosecute the companies via the Martin Act. Bitfinex issued its reply in an official blog post on Aug. 20. Tether published the same response on its website, also on Aug. 20. The companies maintain that the NYAG’s claims are meritless and say they will pursue the issues at…

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Bitcoin’s Growing UTXO Problem and How Utreexo Can Help Solve It

Scalability is still a point of concern for Bitcoin — but clever minds continue to produce innovative proposals to resolve bottlenecks. One of the specific scalability concerns is the growth of the unspent transaction output (UTXO) data set held by Bitcoin nodes. This is the list of all (fractions of) bitcoin in existence and details on how it can be spent. Unfortunately, this list tends to grow over time, particularly as new users enter the system — they’ll have their coins reflected in UTXOs as well. In an attempt to…

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Japan’s Largest Gift Card Marketplace Launching Blockchain Gift Cards

Japan’s largest gift card platform Amaten will issue tokenized gift cards in partnership with blockchain network provider Aelf. United Kingdom news outlet Verdict reported on Aug. 20 that Amaten partnered with Aelf — one of the 30 blockchain providers certified by the China Electronics Technology Standardization Institute — to issue gift cards on the blockchain. Amaten plans to build its framework on top of Aelf’s platform to tokenize its gift cards, enabling them to be exchanged and managed on the blockchain. Gift cards and blockchain: “a completely natural fit” This initiative…

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BitFlyer and Tpoint Japan Team Up to Offer Bitcoin Loyalty Program

Cryptocurrency exchange bitFlyer and technology services company Tpoint Japan announced a new partnership that allows local customers to exchange loyalty program points for Bitcoin (BTC) and earn rewards for paying in crypto. The official press release states: “As part of our mission of ‘Making the world simpler with blockchain’, we will continue to contribute to the further development of a sound virtual currency industry. Tpoint Japan aims to turn their well-known points into ‘Points for people. Points for connecting people and society.’ Participating locations include Bic Camera, Yamada Denki, H.I.S.,…

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