Big Bang Theory airs their "Bitcoin" episode...


Big Bang Theory aired their Bitcoin themed episode tonight.

*SPOILER ALERT*

The episode centered around a very real situation - one another reporter from GCP covered just a few days ago - that $39 Billion dollars in Bitcoin are lost in wallets people no longer have access to.

The episode should be available for streaming soon on the CBS website.

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Author: Adam Lee
Asia News Desk


Bitconnect Ponzi-scheme CONFRONTED by reporter at Blockchain Expo 2017!


IMPORTANT NOTE:   This video occurred AFTER Bitconnect agreed to speak but ONLY IF WE ASKED NICE QUESTIONS FROM A PRE-APPROVED LIST.  That's why this isn't an interview - it's a confrontation.

Before this video, we attempted a to arrange a quiet, sit down interview, to go over the numbers with them. Bitconnect made this impossible...THEN we decided to talk to them anyway.


Bitconnect is already under official investigation in the UK, and soon may have their operations in that country shut down, and assets seized.

Just in from our Silicon Valley team covering the Blockchain Expo North America today.

My phone chimed with a text message from one of our staff at the event - only reading "check the company dropbox" and behold, this amazing video!

Ross Davis, seen in this video confronting Bitconnect staff about their impossible to sustain business model at their booth is our Editor In Chief, and heads up our Silicon Valley news desk.

The question is simple: With the current business model of Bitconnect, if someone invests $10,000 today, they will be paying them over $4,000,000 just six years from now. They make people believe it's possible because the value of their coin is going up 'just like bitcoin' but what they don't tell you is, virtually no one is buying their coin except their own customers.

I gave Ross a quick call for some background story, he said:

"Yesterday at the expo after getting past the shock that these guys were getting bold enough to show their faces at an event like this, I asked if we could schedule an interview for the following day (today), the reaction set up red flags immediately.

Our team has interviewed somewhere around 30 companies here over the last two days, about half of them reached out to us first, and all we're more than happy to be interviewed.

But only 1 asked for the questions in advance, and couldn't commit to more than a "maybe" for an interview today.

Of course, no reporter gives questions in advance unless it's a fluff piece, and like I said, nobody else wanted them - legitimate companies with nothing to hide welcome questions!"

I asked, why not just let it go?

"The day this comes crashing down, it's going to be in major newspapers and financial TV shows.  The general public still hasn't quite figured out what cryptocurrency is all about, and the day they open the New York Times or turn on CNN and hear about what Bitconnect pulled - it's going to be a stain on this entire industry."

In closing:

"We need to draw a line in the sand.  There's 'get rich quick' hustlers like Bitconnect and legitimate companies really pushing this tech, and no, we don't need to play nice with eachother."

Bitconnect has been called a ponzi scheme by virtually every respectable person in the cryptocurrency industry.  From Ethereum creater Vitalik Buterin, to Litecoin creator Charlie Lee.



We will be following Bitconnects case with the UK government over the next several weeks.
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Author: Mark Pippen
London News Desk


Bitcoin breaks the $10,000 mark! But now, should we brace for a dip?


It's an historic day as Bitcoin sets a new all time high, and adds a whole new digit to it's value!

So - now what?

Predicting what the cryptocurrency market will do is an impossible task, but let's try to make an educated guess.

First let me say, i'm a firm believer that Bitcoin hasn't reached it's peak yet, so don't take this as FUD - but a small dip may be coming.

It's important to understand the difference between a correction and a crash, what I think we will see is only a correction.

So first is just what comes with hitting a milestone like 10,000. It's a psychological reaction to a round number. It's seen in the stock market as well - people sell at 100, 1000, 10,000 marks just because it "feels like a good number" to sell at.

Secondly, it's important to understand the demographics that brought Bitcoin here - millions of small investors. Many of which have been pouring every dollar left from their paychecks into cryptocurrency.

It might sound crazy at first, but don't underestimate the power of Christmas on the market! 

It's important to understand many young, smaller investors have used cryptocurrency in place of a savings account. So with that fact in mind, it wouldn't surprise me to see lots making withdraws to fund their holiday shopping and travel. If this holds true for enough people, it could have an impact.

So here's a scenario I see possible:  slight dip, maybe to the high $8000's, followed by a strong rally of people "buying the dip" to bring it back to $10,000+.

Once again - it's impossible to predict the future, just an educated guess!  But I am saying, regardless if this dip happens or not - I don't think Bitcoin's rise is over! So you can try to time things right to sell now and buy back in at a lower price - or just play it safe and hold!

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Author: Ross Davis
San Francisco News Desk


Kala token ICO's first phase sells out in just 4 hours - raising $7.5 Million! Here's why...


The appeal and potential behind Kala is actually quite simple: tokens that are easy to earn, and easy to spend.

The Kala ICO pre-sale began Monday morning, and their first group sold out in just over four HOURS!

750 million Kala tokens were sold at $.01 per token. In a flurry of activity, 1,562 people took
advantage of the presale rate and an impressive $7,500,000 was raised.

Group 2 is now officially launched at $.02 per token. There will be 1.5 billion available in this
group. After group two sells out, the rate will go to $.03. Pre-sales will continue through Nov. 30,
and public sales will open Dec. 1 at 11:00 a.m. MST.

So what’s all the excitement about? Simplicity is the key. To start: it’s very easy to earn Kala tokens after the ITO. Anyone with internet access can earn Kala with Symatri’s unique way of “mining” through Proof of Effort, rather than Proof of Work or Proof of Stake. This makes the token accessible to the masses.

People earn points by completing activities like taking surveys, testing products, downloading apps, etc, through Symatri’s CORE platform, then transfer those points into Kala. There’s no roomful of servers, no expensive buy-in to mining pools. It doesn’t take special knowledge or equipment. In fact, anyone with a computer or smartphone can participate.

Next, unlike many cryptocurrencies which are created for technology or projects that are still being
developed, Kala will integrate within an already existing ecosystem with more than 300,000
members in over 140 countries. Symatri’s CORE platform and marketplace are being used, tested,
and improved before integrating Kala. In fact, people can already participate before the first Kala
Token is even issued.

Finally, what makes any medium of exchange valuable is whether or not owners can use it to for
real world transactions. Kala will have value from the onset, because shortly after issuance Kala
users will be able to purchase discounted products, services, and gift cards through Symatri’s online
marketplace.

Symatri chose to build Kala on the ERC20 specifications of the Ethereum blockchain. This allows Kala to take full advantage of the benefits of the Ethereum network, and will make it easier to add to
exchanges.

After the close of the ICO, the sold tokens will be issued. Those who participate in the ITO will be
ready to use Kala as soon as it’s fully integrated into the Symatri Ecosystem. Kala will be fungible,
transferable, and expected to trade on exchanges. In addition to using Kala to purchase items online at Symatri’s marketplace, Kala owners can take advantage of the fluctuations in value that is a
fundamental characteristic of all cryptocurrencies.

For more information on Kala, the ICO, to sign up for early access, and to view the full white paper, visit https://kalatoken.io/
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Information provided by press release.

Shocking Study: Up to 4 million bitcoins, worth $39 billion dollars are lost forever.


NY based Chainalysis, an analytics firm, has published a study stating nearly 4 million bitcoins are lost forever.

The study points to wallets that were created, and miners, from the days when bitcoin was only worth pennies or low dollar amounts.

Years ago when people had 20 bitcoins in a wallet and they were worth a total $10 - people weren't so concerned with keeping their wallet/key saved and safe.

Chainalysis says the years of 2009-2010 are when the vast majority of the coins were lost.

But even more shocking, while the early nearly worthless bitcoins were lost at a percentage between 15%-20% - they estimate up to 2% loss rate for 2017.

That's another $2 Billion worth of lost coins this year alone.

Still, that's a dramaticly lower percentage than years ago, and is expected to get even lower as the value of bitcoin rises and people learn the importance of carefully guarding their wallet & key.

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Author: Ross Davis
San Francisco News Desk


MasterCard files patent application full of Blockchain based tech...


A patent application placed by MasterCard and posted by the US Government on the Patent and Trademark office's website is drawing some attention for how heavily MasterCard is adopting blockchain technology.

In fact, the word "blockchain" appears 101 times in the application.

The "abstract" summary of the patent reads as follows...

A method for processing a guaranteed electronic transaction, includes: storing account profile, each include an account number and balance; receiving a transaction message from an acquiring financial institution via a payment network, the message including a specific account number, transaction amount, and payment guarantee data; identifying a specific account profile that includes the specific account number; deducting the transaction amount from the account balance in the specific account profile; generating a record of payment guarantee that includes the transaction amount and data associated with the payment guarantee data; generating a return message including a response code indicating transaction approval and data associated with the generated record; transmitting the generated record to a computing system via a communication network; and transmitting the generated return message to the acquiring financial institution via the payment network.

All 3 of the big players in the credit card industry are now diving into blockchain tech.

Visa is using Chain's blockchain code for its latest pilot, looking towards using blockchain for international payments, and just over a week ago we covered American express announcing a partnership with Ripple.

MasterCard's full patent application can be viewed here.
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Author: Adam Lee
Asia News Desk


Hackers are scanning computers worldwide for open Bitcoin and Ethereum wallets...


Security researcher Didier Stevens setup a trap, or in digital security terms - a "honeypot".  Think of it as digital sting operation, where someone puts a server online open to attack - but nothing of value is really there, it's only there to record the attacks as they happen.

The logs of these honeypots revealed hackers running scrips aimed at detecting files that contain cryptocurrency wallets.

The filenames included:

wallet - Copy.dat
wallet.dat
wallet.dat.1
wallet.dat.zip
wallet.tar
wallet.tar.gz
wallet.zip
wallet_backup.dat
wallet_backup.dat.1
wallet_backup.dat.zip
wallet_backup.zip

Didier said he's seen activity like this since 2013 - but never at such high volume.

The same is now happening to Ethereum since it's taken a strong hold as the #2 cryptocurrency. Threat hunter Dimitrios Slamaris set up a honeypot and faked having some Ethereum in his wallet.

The hacker checked what software he was running, how much ethereum he had in the wallet, then issued a eth_sendTransaction command in an attempt to steal gas from the previously received account.

It appears the hacker has had some small success too, "The destination account has almost 8 Ethers..." Dimitrios tweeted on Nov 8th.

Since then, there's been a few more transactions coming in, as well as a transfer going out to the ShapeShift exchange.
A look at the wallet activity of the hacker.

The lessons to take from this are: Your wallet shouldn't be named "wallet", and even better, your wallet shouldn't be on a computer that's online, or at the least, behind a strong firewall.
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Author: Ross Davis
San Francisco News Desk


Bitcoin heads to the moon - breaking $9000 and $9500 milestones all within 24 hours...


Bitcoin was just $8826 this time yesterday, now (at time of publishing) it's sitting at $9,587!

The rise of Bitcoin paticularly throughout 2017 has made it hard for it's disbelivers to stick to their guns.

Famously, JP Morgan Case's CEO Jamie Dimon called those who buy Bitcoin "stupid".  But now he's silent as JP Morgan's finance chief Marianne Lake came out this week to say their company is now "open minded" when it comes to cryptocurrencies.

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Author: Adam Lee
Asia News Desk


There's something seriously wrong with anyone helping North Korea get more involved in crypto...


North Korea has been accused of everything from "state sponsored hacks" of cryprocurrency wallets, to mining bitcoin to get around sanctions that restrict many nations from doing business with the regime.

Now the intelligence firm Recorded Future is reporting they're stepping up efforts within North Korea's college for the elite class of their society.

Pyongyang University, the same school that received blame for training North Korean hackers is allegedly now offing courses all about cryptocurrency.

They're even flying out experts to make guest presentations to the class members.

The founder of an Italian company called "Chainside" which says they provide an "easy-to-use solution to start accepting bitcoins in a snap" Federico Tenga, was recently one of those guests.

Why would anyone part of the legitimate side of the cryptocurrency world want to help a rogue nation, certainly not interested in doing anything positive, to learn more?

Federico Tenga took to twitter just hours ago and posted a tweet full of shocking ignorance, following VICE News mentioning his visit.

Seemingly unaware that nothing in North Korea, especially the University in it's capitol, isn't planned by the central government.

Governments have, and will continue to point at North Korea's invovment in cryptocurrencies as a reason for massive government regulations, or in worse case scenarios, outright bans.

Which makes it even more shocking and disappointing, is that anyone would be offering them help.

*UPDATE* this article sparked a debate between Federico and myself on twitter here.
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Author: Ross Davis
San Francisco News Desk


Ethereum hits new all time high! Here's the 3 reasons why...


Ethereum hit an all time high today breaking the $480 mark shortly before publication time of this article.

So - what made this happen? It's a combination of 3 reasons...

1.  Mike Novogratz's prediction of Ethereum hitting "close to $500" before years end.  Mike is a Wall Street guy, and one who did quite well there.  Because of this, some big money investors really listen when he speaks.  When he made this prediction Ethereum was around $380, so many listening thought they still had time to get in, and did.

2. Ethereum is getting a major upgrade soon the CASPER upgrade hits the Ethereum network.  There's no way to really summarize all that this means, but it's a big deal. Another writer from our organization spoke about it yesterday here.

3. South Korea - the current Ethereum hype hit South Korea in a big way, trading volume from that nation's exchanges broke $2 Billion in the last 24hrs!

Many are predicting this rally to be the one to break the $500 mark. We'll be watching!

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Author: Mark Pippen
London News Desk


We're on the verge of Ethereum's biggest update - CASPER may be ahead of schedule!


Speaking with someone close to the project (not a full 'inside source' but someone who does speak to them semi-regularly) word is the CASPER Ethereum network update is coming along very smoothly.

Originally set for early 2018, the friendly ghost may pop up and surprise us before the end of the year.

Code was released by Ethereum's developer Vlad Zamfir on Tuesday of this week, and it appears to already have evolved from what Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin presented at Devcon just weeks earlier.

CASPER is expected to make drastic changes to the Ethereum network, and will reduce the role of miners drastically - well, eventally, pretty much completely.

In cryptocurrency mining communities the top question being asked is now - what coin should I switch the rig over to once CASPER goes live?

But for the Ethereum user, CASPER's upgrade and the switch to a POS (Proof of stake) based algorithm means increased security, reduced threat of centralization, and is greatly more energy efficient.

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Author: Ross Davis
San Francisco News Desk


Investors in real gold now want some 'digital gold' - so they're buying up Bitcoins!



They're called the "Old Mutual Gold & Silver Fund" and they hold over $200 million worth of the precious metals. 

Now, they're expanding their fund to hold the digital gold - Bitcoin.

The funds manager Ned Naylor-Leyland told Bloomberg:

"If you’re going to have a small proportion of a fund in bitcoin, it should be in a gold fund, because that’s exactly the point. It’s about bringing the ownership of disciplined money into the modern world. Bitcoin is paving the way for the reintroduction of gold as global money.”

It's been a pretty boring year in gold, but boring can be good - it's basically kept it's value and that's a huge reason many invest in it.

Bitcoin on the other hand, is up 8000% - so this "digital gold" may be a good way to bring their investors some profits while the real gold remains stable.

This will be an experiment for the fund - mixing old with new, saying:

“If you imagine sound money and blockchain together, there’s quite an exciting potential outcome.”

This is just the latest in the long line of 'classic' investors jumping into cryptocurrencies. 

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Author: Ross Davis
San Francisco News Desk


Billionare Wall Street Investor Mike Novogratz predicts: Bitcoin to $10,000 before years end, Ethereum close to $500!


We featured him in an article before, when he put his money where his mouth is and dropped a $500 Million dollar bet on Bitcoin.

"Bitcoin is built on an amazing technology, and people trust it" he told Bloomberg TV.

He spoke on Ethereum as well "just in the last few days there's been a lot of positive things happening in the Ethereum ecosystem".

As for his predictions - "I think we'll end the year at Bitcoin at $10,000 and Ethereum close to $500".

Mike Novogratz is a former Goldman Sachs partner, and head of Galaxy Investment Partners Michael Novogratz has been a champion of cryptocurrency throughout 2017.

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Author: Adam Lee
Asia News Desk


How ExpertyIO is bringing blockchain to online consulting....



Experty describes their mission as:

...To encourage the adoption of cryptocurrency on a global scale by creating an intuitive, easy to use application that is suitable for wide scale usage. We expect mass adoption within the next 3 years. Anyone who needs to make a consultation via the Experty app will also have a cryptocurrency wallet in their pocket.

Our current focus is on solving the talent crisis in the blockchain community by allowing experts to monetize their skills through a skype-like voice and video application. Payments are handled through an automated smart contract system using Experty’s native token EXY. This will let companies obtain the talent they need, allowing the blockchain community to continue to expand and flourish.

It works like this - if you're an expert in a paticular field, you list your skills on the site.

If someone needs to speak to someone with your skills, you're matched.

Then using cryptocurrency/blockchain technology, Experty allows experts to be paid instantly for time they spend on a call, without going through third party intermediaries.


Two reasons this changes the game - first, often the consultant and client aren't in the same country and using the same currency. Cryptocurrency solves this. Secondly, international transactions can take days in some cases, with Experty payments would be instant. 

Experty is in their Pre-ICO phase and registration to participate is open now at www.Experty.io

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Author: Mark Pippen
London News Desk


The Blockchain Expo hits Silicon Valley this week!


The biggest Blockchain/cryptocurrency event thus far is just days away!

The Blockchain Expo will take place November 29th and 30th in Silicon Valley at the Santa Clara convention center, and features over 120 guest speakers, dozens of exhibits, and 65 educational sessions.


Global Crypto Press is a media partner with the event - and will on the ground reporting from the expo!


Full event information can be found at 
www.Blockchain-Expo.com

Use code GlobalCrypto20 to get 20% off tickets!
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Author: Ross Davis
San Francisco News Desk


FBI contacted to investigate ICO that disappeared with investors cash...


The company was called "Confido" and the ICO took place early November though fundraising company TokenLot.

TokenLot says they are now contacting the FBI, after Confido completely disappeared with the money.

The website, and all social media that once existed for the fake company have been deleted, scrubbing the net of all traces it ever existed.

We were able to find an archived shot of what the site once looked like:



While the total stolen was a relatively small $375,000, the cryptocurrency world is rightfully demanding action.  In some online communities, putting their technical skills to work trying to track down who's behind it (no success yet).

A strange final post on their blog, which is now deleted said:

Thanks for always standing by us. We have achieved some incredible things these last two weeks, and the crypto space is beginning to notice us. However, we owe you an apology. Right now, we are in a tight spot, as we are having legal trouble caused by a contract we signed. We signed the contract with assurance from our legal adviser that there was minimal risk and it would not be an issue. I can’t and won’t go into details, but he was wrong. It is a problem.

Confido's pitch was to provide smart-contract based escrow service.

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Author: Ross Davis
San Francisco News Desk


Did Tether FAKE a hack to cover up crimes? We dive into the conspiracy theory...



It's being discussed all over the Cryptocurrency communities and social networks, as well as some of the more secretive encrypted channels, which we luckily have access to.

So, lets take a shot at connecting all the pieces of information floating around all these different places.

Disclaimer: this is a THEORY at this point. I am only reporting on this story - not endorsing it.

Tether/Bitfinex have aimed to act somewhat as a bank. To do so, they created what they call Tether, or"USDT" which does not change in value.

They have always claimed 1 USDT will always equal 1 US Dollar.

The idea is, you could sell your coins, and not have to withdraw them immediately to a bank.  They could sit in Tether, and will always stay the same value. You could then withdraw them, or put them back into cryptocurrency whenever you choose.

Basically, a savings account.

On Bitfinex, when you "cashed out" - you didn't receive USD sent to a bank, you received USDT on the exchange.

The claim some are making is: Tether/Bitfinex were making more USDT out of thin air.  Then buying other cryptocurrencies on exchanges which accepted USDT.

Which is a massive claim to make.

Today before the news officially broke, the red flags began being noticed by those watching the company closely...


As soon as news started to break, the finger pointing began...

From 4chan.
Today many are pointing to a whistleblower who goes by "Bitfinex'ed" who has been pushing this theory on twitter for some time, and earlier today went on "Off Chain Live" a podcast hosted by Jimmy Chong, and laid out his theory.

With no camera on, and his voice disquised, he went on to explain he believes the hack was an inside job.



So here's why it impacts the market - if Tether purchased Bitcoin with USDT, which doesn't actually represent $1 USD each in value, what is the true value of Bitcoin? If true, all Bitcoin purchases made with UDST will need to be re-evaluated.

That brings uncertainty to the market - how much fake money has been pumped into the Bitcoin economy?

The theory dates back some time as well.  An analyst at BHB Blockchain Lab put together this chart, showing how when new USDT was created, a Bitcoin pump followed shortly after...

New tethers VS bitcoin prices...

So where does that leave us? Well, Tether now has likely caught the attention of law enforcement (although no official investigation has been announced).  They'll need to prove they hold $1 for every 1 USDT.  If they do, case closed - conspiracy theory debunked!

If they can't, every USDT transaction will need to be looked at.  USTD isn't "worthless" even if this theory is true, it does represent the money of some legitimate Tether users, but what the true value would be is unknown.

Anyone with additional information, feel free to contact me (click my name below). Sources may remain anonymous if they wish.

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Author: Ross Davis
San Francisco News Desk


Bitcoin price begins to plummet as Tether hack announced....


As shockwaves go through the cryptocurrency world as Tether announced a major hack, Bitcoin prices are going for a dive.

Down nearly $300 over the last hour, sending it back under the $8000 mark we just began celebrating.

We are awaiting news if Tether's recovery efforts will be a success, which could send the price shooting back up, or even lower.

**UPDATE**
Looks like a quick recovery from the FUD the hack caused.
Bitcoin is back to $8100 just 2 hours later.!

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Author: Mark Pippen
London News Desk


Tether HACKED - Possible $30,000,000+ stolen...

BREAKING: The popular wallet service Tether has been hacked.

In a message just sent out to it's users they state:

 "$30,950,010 USDT was removed from the Tether Treasury wallet on November 19, 2017 and sent to an unauthorized bitcoin address. As Tether is the issuer of the USDT managed asset, we will not redeem any of the stolen tokens, and we are in the process of attempting token recovery to prevent them from entering the broader ecosystem. "


The full message can be read below...


Tether's full statement

We will be following this story for further updates...

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Author: Ross Davis
San Francisco News Desk


People are buying homes, cars, and even paying for school with Bitcoin...


A question often asked is "what can you actually use Bitcoin for?" and the list of answers is growing rapidly.

When it comes to online retailers, both Overstock and Microsoft made headlines not too long ago when both announced they'll be accepting the digital currency - and today both do.

Expedia is even now accepting it, so you can pay for your vacation in Bitcoin!

But there's been some other interesting "Bitcoin accepted here" stories that haven't made much news.

In New York, two private schools will accept parents payments in Bitcoin. The two Manhattan based schools in NYC's Flatiron and SoHo districts Chairman told CNBC "It's actually really easy.  I think more parents more schools will embrace the technology."

In Ibiza, there's a palace for sale, and they're ONLY accepting Bitcoin! The price tag -  1,850 BTC (roughly $14 Million USD).   Their website states:

El Palacio is an 18th-century palace, built overlooking the ancient town on the highest and most exclusive point of the city of Ibiza, this exclusive location was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1999. And now it can be yours purchasing the first property on Ibiza with Bitcoin!

And of course, once your profits have taken you to the moon, you're going to need a Lamborghini.   Lamborghini Newport Beach in Southern California takes Bitcoin payments as well. Posting this announcement to their Instagram...



Have you seen Bitcoin accepted somewhere surprising around your city?

Drop us a line - Tips@GlobalCryptoPress.com

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Author: Justin Derbek
New York News Desk


Wall Street says: If you try us out, we'll give you free stocks to start with...



There's no debate, cryptocurrency has stolen the spotlight for young investors.

But the Robinhood.com is betting that the next step they'll take will be stocks, so much so they're giving new users a share of a random stock, possibly a valuable one, once they sign up for a free account.

Robinhood's co-founder Vlad Tenev recently told CNBC:

"I wouldn't say that we're anticipating a massive shift from stocks to cryptocurrencies."

...But he does think they might branch off in that direction, and participate in both markets.

So much so, that they're giving each new user a free share of a random stock, it could be a smaller company, and some users are getting lucky - scoring a share of Facebook (Worth $180) or Apple (Worth $174)
Some are getting lucky and scoring some high-priced stocks.
We're all for diversifying investments, and kicking it off with a free stock definitely can't hurt your portfolio.

Those interested in giving it shot, can try it out here. 

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Author: Ross Davis
San Francisco News Desk


Bitcoin Cash traders lose millions as exchange locks them out during price dive...


Popular Europe-based exchange "Trading 212" held many of Bitcoin Cash's early believers money as prices and their profits shot up on Sunday November 12th.

Then, it all collapsed over the next few days, and when they logged in to ditch their coins before it could go any lower, they were hit with an unpleasant surprise - they were locked out!

Trading 212 claims it only lasted 10 minutes, but angry members in the WhatsApp group formed afterwards called "People v 212" dispute that.

So far, members are saying their losses total over $13 Million USD.

The exchange claims they are trying to make things right, taking steps to make sure it won't happen again, and have resolved the issue with their most important members.

"Today we have settled with most of the affected clients"

Co-Founder Borislav Nedialkov said in a statement yesterday.

Still unclear on the status of those claiming smaller losses.

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Author: Mark Pippen
London News Desk


Why build a mine, when you can rent one?


It's an idea growing in popularity, the equipment is expensive and starting out can be complicated.  Depending on where you live, you may pay more in power bill than profits. But NiceHash.com has built a system both miners and buyers seem to be happy with.

They offer people the option to buy no equipment of their own, but rather "buy massive hashing power for mining Bitcoin, Zcash, Ethereum and other coins!"

Why would a miner do this? They get to use NiceHash's software that maximizes their resources.

You pay only for valid shares, can mine on any pool you want, and monitor your results with stats updated in real time.

Sound interesting? Check out NiceHash.com and take a look for yourself.

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Author: Mark Pippen
London News Desk


The most hated man in crypto is plotting his comeback...

For those new to the cryptocurrency scene, you may be lucky enough to never have heard of Mt. Gox.

Mt.Gox was a bitcoin exchange that at one point up to 70% of Bitcoin trades were going through.

It began in 2010, and ended horribly in 2014 when they announced that approximately 850,000 bitcoins belonging to customers and the company were missing and likely stolen, an amount valued at more than $450 million at the time.

Mark Karpeles, although not the sites founder, bought the site in 2011 and took over as CEO.  While his level of personal fault has been debated, he was the man in charge when in June of the same year when in response to a security breach Mt. Gox moved bitcoins from "cold storage" and it was all downhill from there. 

Then, beginning in Nov 2013 customers were experiencing delays of weeks to months in withdrawing cash from their accounts, and by Feb 2014, Mt. Gox halted all bitcoin withdrawals, and by the end of the month the fiasco was blamed for a 36% loss in Bitcoin's value.

Fast forward to today - Mark Karpeles is back and considering starting an ICO to bring Mt.Gox back.

In a post updating people on their bankrupcy, he laid out the option to:

Launch an ICO to raise money to hypothetically revive MtGox. This sounds more challenging, both legally and because there is no guarantee of raising enough to revive MtGox. In case there is not enough raised it could still be locked to be distributed to creditors, which would be better than nothing.

The upside, the revival of Mt.Gox would mean paying some of their debts, however - the price of Bitcoin has risen dramtically since then, so people would be recieving a fraction of it's current value back.

The downside... well, Mt.Gox would be back. 

Mark knows where he stands in the community, saying:

At this point there is little hope for anything to be actually accomplished, and I have been pondering how to proceed should I want to solve this matter myself - which sounds better than being the object of hate of thousands of people for the rest of my days (it seems I already am anyway, yet sometimes some people send me nice messages, that keeps me going).

Do I expect anything to actually happen? Unlikely.

The price tag on a Mt.Gox revival is placed at $245 Million, and it's hard to imagine an investor seeing a bright future in a Mt.Gox comeback.

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Author: Ross Davis
San Francisco News Desk


Bitcoin sets a new ALL TIME HIGH today!


Bitcoin broke it's all time high today, previously $7,769 by hitting $7,983 - barely missing the $8000 mark.

There's still time though.

CoinMarketCap is showing over $10 billion in trading volume in just the past 24 hours!

The reasons seem to be the market shrugging off the threat of  'Bitcoin Cash' gaining any dominance over the original Bitcoin, mixed with news that CME Group announced their Bitcoin futures trading enters a "test phase" this Monday.

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Author: Ross Davis
San Francisco News Desk


Ripple and American Express announce partnership...


The partnership with American Express focuses specifically on payments between the USA and the UK, though their "FX International Payments For Business" transactions.

“This collaboration with Ripple and Santander represents the next step forward on our blockchain journey, evolving the way we move money around the world.” said American Express’s chief information officer Marc Gordon.

Ripple, based in San Francisco has always focused on cross-boarder payments enabled by blockchain.

“Transfers that used to take days will be completed in real time, allowing money to move as fast as business today” Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse said in a statement.

Ripple (XRP) is up 15% today at time of publishing.

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Author: Justin Derbek
New York News Desk


Survey results: WHO are cryptocurrency investors, why are we here, and how long will we stay?


A thank you from Mike Brown of Lend EDU for contacting us the results of a survey their organization recently conducted and allowing us to share the results with our readers.

The survey pool was made up of 546, US based Bitcoin investors.

1. Which of the following best describes the reason you invested in Bitcoin?

a. 21.81% of respondents answered "Bitcoin is a long term store of value, like gold or silver."
b. 40.78% of respondents answered "I believe Bitcoin is a world changing technology."
c. 14.01% of respondents answered "I believe that the price of Bitcoin is too low, and will only go higher."
d. 15.25% of respondents answered "A friend, family member, or another trustworthy source convinced me to invest."
e. 8.16% of respondents answered "I plan on using Bitcoin for transactions or purchases, and less of an investment."

2. What is the current value ($) of your Bitcoin investment?

On average, respondents reported that the current value of their Bitcoin investment was $2,930.85. At the time of the survey completion, the price per Bitcoin was $6,490.

3. How long do you plan to hold your Bitcoin investment?

a. 16.49% of respondents answered "Less than 1 year"
b. 39.54% of respondents answered "1 to 3 years"
c. 22.34% of respondents answered "4 to 6 years"
d. 9.93% of respondents answered "7 to 10 years"
e. 11.70% of respondents answered "Over 10 years"

4. Do you routinely worry about the technological security of your Bitcoin investment?

a. 44.15% of respondents answered "Yes"
b. 55.85% of respondents answered "No"​

5. The price of Bitcoin is currently near all-time highs. Have you sold some or all of your Bitcoin investment since investing?

a. 32.62% of respondents answered "Yes"
b. 67.38% of respondents answered "No"​

6. Did you, or do you, plan on reporting your transactions(s) on your tax return as either a loss or a gain?

a. 64.13% of respondents answered "Yes, I plan on reporting gain or loss on my tax return"
b. 35.87% of respondents answered "No, I do not plan on reporting gain or loss on my tax return"

7. At what price per Bitcoin would you be willing to sell all of your Bitcoin investment?

On average, respondents reported that they would be willing to sell all of their Bitcoin investment at $196,165.79 per Bitcoin. At the time of the survey completion, the price per Bitcoin was $6,490.

CHARTS:
Why did they invest in Bitcoin?



How long are they planning to hold on to their Bitcoin?


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Author: Ross Davis
San Francisco News Desk


The world of Bitcoin gambling begins to grow...


The idea of Bitcoin gambling isn't new, but sites like BitStarz.com are taking things Vegas style, with slots and games and more that payout in BTC.

It's a hot industry, in fact online gambling is estimated to be a global $35 Billion dollar market!

With all the wealth floating around in the cryptocurrency world it's no surprise they're looking our way.
Some people are hitting the jackpot.
That's why recently, BitStarz is being talked about on so many forum and communities as they offer  "free spins" and people a chance to win some Bitcoin with "no deposit required", then offering a "1 BTC Bonus" if and when they do decide to bet some coin.

We expect we've just begun to see the beginning of a massive industry to branch off from cryptocurrencies!
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Author: Mark Pippen
London News Desk
[a sponsored post]


Bitcoin Cash is a MESS!


First it pumped, then it dumped, then it kinda pumped again, then it forked.  All within a week.


Let's go ahead and admit, this thing is a mess!

The rumors and finger pointing are intense too.  As the "real Bitcoin" has been bogged down with micro-transactions, many pointed their fingers at the Bitcoin Cash crew - saying it was them trying to make the "real Bitcoin" look bad to make Bitcoin Cash look better, even claims they hired Russian based social media bots/spammers, and bought their own coin to pump the price.

4chan rips apart Bitcoin Cash.
Coinmarketcap 1-week chart.


Now to top it off, the fork... has been forked!?

This tweet from Bitcoin Cash's project manager called it "malicious" - the new currency is being called "Bitcoin Clashic".


So now, there's even fight over what should be the "real Bitcoin Cash"!

Exhaused? Annoyed? Same.

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Author: Adam Lee
Asia News Desk


Finally, an ICO worth giving a look - eHarvestHub's plan to streamline the food industry...


It's been months since there was an ICO worth mentioning.  After a year of massive ICO hype, usually followed by disappointing results, I still initially cringe when I see the words "ICO coming soon".

That's why I found this one refreshing, when I picked it apart I found an idea that makes sense, and a real world application for blockchain technology.

It meets my 4 standards for a legitimate project:

● Real world application: improves upon a large, existing industry. It's not about re-inventing anything, it's about making something that already exists better and more efficient.

● "Blockchain" isn't thrown in as a buzz word: it's essential.

● The industry it targets would see immediate benefits: existing profits increase after implementing it, so there's a real reason for people to use it.

● It has real backing:  Tim Draper, the billionaire famous in the crypto scene for buying Silk Road's sized bitcoins from the US Government, and graduate of both Harvard and Stanford is their main investor.  He's been called "the creator of viral marketing" and credited with helping in both Skype and Hotmail's success.

The company is eHarvestHub, and they have a way to streamline the process of how food gets from a farmer, to our grocery store.

I interviewed the founder and CEO, Alvaro Ramirez to learn more about the project.

- Honestly, i'm among the 99% of Americans who really have no idea what goes on behind the scenes of the process of food getting from a farm, to a market.  So with that being said, help myself and our readers understand the problem, and how blockchain tech is the solution. 

Farmer grows, harvest and packs product, often with no pre-arranged sale, because he doesn’t have enough volume to sell directly to retailers, sells to the multiple middlemen who aggregate volume and arrange transportation – using a transportation broker.  The product can zig-zag 7 to 10 times before it makes it to the retailer’s warehouse.  Often farmers don’t know who the end buyer is because middlemen won’t disclose it.  Prices are negotiated on every order however if the buyer finds the product cheaper the order will be canceled.  In the event the product has already been shipped the buyer will find a reason why not to accept the product and will haggle the farmer for a discount or the farmer has to find someone else to sell the product.  Because of the multiple layers of middlemen farmers’ profits are as low as 4%.  While visiting one of our farmers, I purchased a case of cantaloupes – 17 in the box for $5.69, that’s $.33 cents for each cantaloupe yet at the store you can pay up to $3.00 for one cantaloupe. Our food supply chain is FUBR.

Hauling fresh food is mostly done by independent truckers who depend on a transportation broker, but these are truckers who saved money and took out loans to buy the trucks to be independent business owners.    Brokers charge retail prices for freight and put it up for a bid among his network of truckers.  Lowest bid wins the load.  If the truck is not full and can pick up a second load the broker will pay up to $100 + the extra miles for the second load yet charging retail prices.  The trucker however, once product is loaded, takes ownership and assumes all responsibilities of the load.  Transportation brokers don’t always know whether or not products can be transported together – chemical reactions and temperatures can affect the quality of the product potentially causing losses.  In the end, everyone one wants their cut but along the way the farmer and trucker who work the hardest to get us our food make the least amount of money and consumers are left paying higher prices for their fresh food.

The layers of middlemen give retailers zero visibility to farmers inventory and food traceability difficult and food fraud easier.  Unable to track shipments, farmers invoice the moment they ship because they don’t know when the product will be received. Some middlemen who offer to help farmers sell their product will charge up to 15% fees that even when they fail at selling the product or the buyer refuses to pay, the farmer must pay the middleman.

Truckers must have a singed BOL to receive payment, sometimes having to wait up to 30 days to get paid.  If a trucker wants to get pay sooner some brokers will charge a fee of the already negotiated prices. In other countries truckers often purchase the load from the farmer – not always paying the farmer upfront but after they sell the product.

Blockchain is the perfect tech for the food industry, I will even say, is the only technology that can truly change the industry.  The current traceability standard is just a standard on the “minimum” everyone agreed on, it doesn’t truly provide transparency.  With Blockchain we can log and time stamp every step our food takes providing true transparency from seed to table which lowers potential illness from food borne pathogens and minimizes the financial risks to market participants.

Smart contracts help guarantee farmers and truckers get paid with their job is done.  Buyers buy commercial quality product– a standard set by USDA.  Buyers trust the product they are purchasing is under this standard although they have no way to verify this until the product reaches their warehouse.  Blockchain’s transparency helps the buyer verify the quality before purchase and it’s therefore set as part of the contract.  The smart contract helps buyer, farmer and trucker come to a consensus on quality before and during transport as well as pickup and delivery times.
  
- Lets do a "before and after blockchain" comparison. Tell me how the process works currently (with no blockchain tech), the farm grows the food - then what:

Farmer growers and packs product, conducts a manual inventory count which is seldom accurate.  then lets buyers (all) he can know he has product available.  Orders are often received by multiple people without access to inventory count causing overselling or underselling of product.

On the buyer side:  Retailers let their buyers (employees) know how much they need and the price they need to purchase at.  Middlemen start getting orders from retailers and begin calling farmers and other middlemen to see who has product available and how much and begin negotiating on prices. Once the order is verbally confirmed – a purchase order is faxed or emailed to the shipper (seller).

Transportation broker is contacted and price negotiated on delivery– broker puts load up for a bid – lowest bid wins and the trucker goes to pick order up.

Product is loaded (not always on time caused by the trucker being late to pick up or the shipper not having product ready– this can cause a missed delivery time for which the trucker is charged – up to $100/hr).  Shipper and trucker sign the Lading (BOL); trucker takes ownership of the load and gets on the road.

At the delivery warehouse – if on time the truck is asked move to the unloading zone and is unloaded.  If the trucker missed his delivery window he must wait sometimes having to wait until next day.

- Now, tell me what that process looks like using eHarvestHub's blockchain tech:

Farmer logs all the food safety, labeling product with 128 barcode which is recorded, each barcode is unique to each case, this creates an accurate real-time inventory which is then surfaced on our marketplace.

Buyers are able to search on our marketplace for product and can have access to all the food safety records of the farmer, FOB and Delivered product pricing and who are the available truckers for the delivery.  This is all part of the smart contract.  Once the delivery date, the smart contracts algorithm calculates when product must be picked up based on various data points.

Cost of transportation can be lowered because the system is constantly looking at recent contracts, active contracts or near future contracts to identify those loads that could be combined.

Once the product has been delivered and the bill of lading (BOL) is signed by the consignee, the trucker and farmer have successfully met their obligations and funds can be sent to them.

- It sounds like success hinges on two groups adopting the technology - farm owners, and independent truckers. What's the main reasons each of these groups should want to adopt this tech?

This may look like a very complicated chain but it really isn’t.  All we need to do is help the farmer first. We help them meet food transparency and safety – accurately manage their inventory, the retailers will come.  A major retailer said to us “If you can aggreagate the volume directly from small farmers, you solved two major issues for us.  Aggregation and food transparency.  You do that, we will come shop”.
You have to have the right business model, many competitors if they are not charging an expensive licensing fee they are charging percentages of the orders – nothing new, they are just the new middlemen.  We truly want to help farmers and truckers so we charge flat fees.  The Farmer pays us a small flat fee of $3 (in the US) per order and the trucker pays $100 for ach load delivered.  The US along can generate over 100M transactions, globally 480M farmers can generate over 9 billion transactions.

- Maybe it's a misconception I have, but I view both the farming and trucking industry as relativity "low tech", do you worry at all that even if the concept is sound, there may be some fear or skepticism in adopting it? 

Truckers because they are on the road, they carry smart phones and laptops so introducing a transportation app would not be unfamiliar to them.  Many of the already belong to one or many bidding platforms run by brokers.  Farmers on the other hand tend to shy away from technology for too main reasons – Complicated tech and it’s expensive.  We make sure our tech is user-friendly and intuitive.  When we first introduced the traceability solution, it took employees at the farms just a few minutes to learn how to use it and were up and running the same day.  We solved the price issue as well; we invoice farmers when they invoice.    You have to take the baby steps with farmers, when they see you really care about them and their farms, they adopt your tech.


- Are there any upsides for the average end consumer as well?

There is a tremendous upside to consumers.  Eliminating the middlemen means less hands touching the product, this lowers potential risks for food borne illness and prices drop. Blockchain provides consumers with a clear view of where their food comes and how their money impacts small farmers around the world.  That is tremendous power put back in the hands of consumers.  With our cryptocurrency, a consumer in the US could contribute to a farmer across the world, much like when someone contributes to an ICO.  An impact that can help farmers turn to more sustainable practices.  This is an impact that removes the grip conglomerates have on our food system.

- Tell us a bit about your team, and who else is currently supporting the project?

I have the best team; my development team is based in Nicaragua. I chose to have my developers there not only because that is where I was born but I wanted them to experience working at a startup based out of Silicon Valley.  One of my greatest rewards, a few years after eHarvestHub has matured would be to hear them say, “Alvaro, I had a blast at eHarvestHub and have loved everything we have done but I want to go and start my own project.” It would be great to go see them create opportunities for others like we are doing at eHarvestHub. They are a young team always willing to do the impossible to make our technology great and more importantly user-friendly.  Francisco Rojas, our head of Sales and Operations has the right background for what we are building at eHarvestHub.  Quency Phillips “Q” as we call him, is an amazing person that lives and breathes marketing and public relations and has the heart and compassion to understand we are bout improving the social-economics of small farmers and truckers.

- What's been accomplished so far, and what's your timeline look like into the future?

I raised a little more than $1.1M to build the tech.  We were able to complete all the initial technology – a fully integrated platform that allows farmers, retailers and truckers to communicate directly. 
Order Management System..
Inventory Management System.
Traceability system – that enables farmers to manage potential recalls.
Marketplace .
Transportation Management system.

We have farmers already using our platform and continue to add more of them.  So far, our farmers have tracked more than 4 million cases of food and can generate over 30,000 orders that will need to be delivered.

We are excited about the future – adding Blockchain to our tech and using smart contracts for our customers to conduct business and incorporating the use of cryptocurrency that will help decentralize the food supply chain.

We are equally excited about our preICO because it is our first step to involve the global community.  Some have asked why our ICO is not right after our preICO like others have done.  We want to raise a small amount to implement blockchian into our platform and conduct pilot programs in Mexico, Colombia and Nicaragua to show that what we are doing works.  The funds we raise in the preICO will be held in a multi-signature account requiring two signatures from our advisors Stephen Mc Namara and Heather Richman.  They will ensure funds are release only when milestones set in our white paper are met. 

The Pre-ICO begins in just a few days, Nov 21st at www.ehhICO.com

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Author: Ross Davis
San Francisco News Desk