#Blockchain Greenpages.cash Will Help You Find Merchants Accepting Bitcoin Cash

Greenpages.cash Will Help You Find Merchants Accepting Bitcoin Cash

Cryptocurrency needs places where you can spend it. Bitcoin cash, with its low-cost and fast transactions, is a good option for merchants and buyers. A platform called Greenpages.cash helps you find stores that will readily accept your BCH.

Also read: New Browser Extension Enhances BCH Addresses for Easy Tipping

BCH Merchant Directory Lists Over 1,000 Stores

Greenpages.cash is a community-maintained BCH merchant directory that currently lists well over 1,000 merchants processing bitcoin cash payments. You can find both brick and mortar and online stores accepting BCH. A useful search feature allows you to look for a particular platform by name, product and service, or location.

The website offers many filtering options that will let you pull listings by categories. For example, you can search for physical stores where bitcoin cash is accepted. Alternatively, you can find gift card sellers and Openbazaar vendors. You can also select products and services offered on the Forra online marketplace or reachable via the Tor browser.

Greenpages.cash Will Help You Find Merchants Accepting Bitcoin Cash

Green Pages has a separate section for merchants selling gift cards which offer you a great opportunity to spend BCH indirectly in stores that don’t currently accept cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin.com is one of the listed vendors. Check out our Spend Bitcoin Cash page, where you can shop online for a variety of products and order gift cards of major retailers such as Adidas, Macy’s, and The Home Depot.

The BCH merchant directory has an interactive map that allows you to locate hundreds of stores around the world where bitcoin cash is accepted for payments. The page lets you calculate the price of the cryptocurrency in U.S. dollars, euros, British pounds or Chinese yuan. You can also learn the latest news and developments in the crypto space from news.Bitcoin.com.

What other platforms listing BCH supporting merchants do you know? Tell us in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to third party companies or any of their affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any third party content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Greenpages.cash.


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#Blockchain Developer Creates Interwallet Transfer Plugin to Strengthen Bitcoin Cash Privacy

Developer Creates Interwallet Transfer Plugin to Strengthen Bitcoin Cash Privacy

The Bitcoin Cash (BCH) protocol and infrastructure continue to see relentless development. The Electron Cash Cashshuffle implementation has enhanced bitcoin cash fungibility by providing users with the ability to shuffle coins. Now a developer has announced the launch of the Interwallet transfer tool, an Electron Cash add-on that allows for privacy-minded transfers using the light client.

Also read: Last Will Platform Allows Your Loved Ones to Inherit Your BCH

Interwallet Transfer Increases Bitcoin Cash Fungibility

This week, software engineer Karol Trzeszczkowski announced the launch of a new plugin called the Interwallet Transfer. The tool works with the Electron Cash (EC) wallet and allows individuals to transfer funds from one wallet to another without compromising anonymity after using tools like Cashshuffle. Trzeszczkowski revealed the EC plugin on May 17 and thanked the developers Emergent Reasons, John Moriarty, and Calin Culianu (Nilac the grim) for help with the review process.

“[Interwallet Transfer] is a simple plugin that allows you to specify a destination wallet (represented by its xpub extended public key), and transfer coins from the source wallet to destination one-at-a-time at random intervals,” Trzeszczkowski said during the launch announcement. “Compared to the simplistic method of transferring everything in one big transaction, this method preserves privacy to a much higher degree: no longer are all your coins linked in that one transaction.”

Developer Creates Interwallet Transfer Plugin to Strengthen Bitcoin Cash Privacy

The Interwallet Transfer is open source and located on Github, while the project’s documentation details how the add-on works and how to install the plugin. The platform sends your coins to unused addresses from another wallet at random times over a selected time period and these coins are sent in one-in-one-out transactions. In order to install the platform, download the latest Interwallet Transfer and you can verify the integrity of the software using Trzeszczkowski’s public key. After the download is complete, you can open the wallet and click the Tools section from the drop-down menu. From here simply click Installed Plugins and press Add Plugin which will prompt a warning and the install window. After these steps are complete, the Interwallet Transfer add-on will be available to process transfers.

Developer Creates Interwallet Transfer Plugin to Strengthen Bitcoin Cash Privacy

Transfer Shuffled BCH at Randomly Selected Intervals

The Github documentation also teaches people how to transfer using the newly added plugin. In order to get started, simply paste the receiving wallet’s Master Public Key in the first dialogue box in the plugin tab. At this point, simply enter the amount of time you want the randomized transfers to take. “Within that amount of time, all funds will be transferred to the receiving wallet at randomly selected intervals,” read the Interwallet Transfer Github specifications. Once the process is complete you can press the Transfer tab and the Electron Cash wallet will begin processing the transactions within the set timeframe. The Interwallet Transfer developers note that the wallet must be open and running in order to complete the transfers.

Developer Creates Interwallet Transfer Plugin to Strengthen Bitcoin Cash Privacy

The BCH community was pleased to hear about Trzeszczkowski’s plugin for the EC wallet. “Ok, this might be the first plug-in for Electron Cash I might use — I can also use it to relocate a cold wallet without linking everything,” a BCH supporter stated on the Reddit forum r/btc. Another commenter remarked that “[Interwallet Transfer] makes it much easier to have a shuffle wallet and a separate mobile spending wallet.” Trzeszczkowski is also the creator of the open source Last Will platform, a smart contract program for the inheritance of bitcoin cash.

What do you think about the Interwallet Transfer plugin? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the mentioned company, software or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com or the author is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article. This editorial is for informational purposes only.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Github, Twitter, Electron Cash, and Cashshuffle logos.


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#Blockchain How to Check Median BTC and BCH Transaction Fees

Transaction fees are the cost that cryptocurrency users have to bear in order to keep the system going. Fees can vary significantly between networks and it is important to be able to check this before you decide which cryptocurrency to use for making your digital payments.

Also Read: Bitcoin Cash Upgrade and 30K Stores Accepting BCH in the Weekly Update From Bitcoin.com

Transaction Fees Differ by Orders of Magnitude

Bitcoinfees.cash is a website which tracks the median transaction fees for both bitcoin core (BTC) and bitcoin cash (BCH). The site displays the current median transaction fees alongside one another as well as a graph of historical median BTC and BCH transaction fees.

The median fees listed on the site are based on the past week of transaction data sourced from a few API providers. The live fee data is updated about every 10 minutes and the historical charts are updated weekly.

How to Check Median BTC and BCH Transaction Fees

Note that each coin has a different reference point as BTC fees are orders of magnitude more expensive than those for BCH. For example, the current median fee for BTC is $1.72, which is over 1,500 times higher than the current median fee BCH of just $0.0011.

The website offers an explanation for anyone out of the loop as to why BTC fees are so expensive compared with BCH and examines why they can skyrocket during times of congestion, as has happened in the past when many new users entered the market and were daunted by BTC’s high network fees.

What do you think about current BTC and BCH transaction fees? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Bitcoin.com Markets, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

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#Blockchain How to Generate QR Codes for Crypto Payments

How to Generate QR Codes for Crypto Payments

Businesses and projects in the crypto space have an incentive to facilitate cryptocurrency payments for their customers and users. With QR codes, acquiring a recipient’s address is easy – all it takes is a quick scan with a smartphone. A platform called Cwaqrgen provides a tool to generate codes.

Also read: Stay in Touch With Markets Using the Cryptowatch App

Website Offers Free QR Code Tool

Cwaqrgen.com is free for those who need QR codes to accept payments in different cryptocurrencies. You can use it to create a custom QR code for your public address and it supports a great variety of digital assets, including all major coins such as bitcoin cash (BCH), bitcoin core (BTC), ethereum (ETH), and litecoin (LTC).

How to Generate QR Codes for Crypto Payments

The tool enables you to receive instant payments to your crypto wallet. Type in the name of the coin in the search bar and choose the one you want to generate a code for. The QR code has a thick border and displays the logo of the respective cryptocurrency in the middle of the box to make it easier for payers to identify it and avoid mistakes. Your public address is embedded in the QR code.

The code produced by Cwaqrgen can be downloaded as a PNG file and added to any website or printed. It’s recommended to verify if it matches your public address with a QR scanner after downloading the image.

For bitcoin cash (BCH) and bitcoin core (BTC) addresses, you can also use the Bitcoin.com wallet which has an integrated QR scanner and supports payments with QR codes. You can also try out the Bitcoin Cash Paper Wallet tool that will help you to securely store your BCH holdings. Find the generator in the Bitcoin Tools section along with many other useful tools developed by Bitcoin.com.

Cwaqrgen.com provides a link to its generator plugin’s source code. Its creators assert that they respect your privacy. There are no logs, cookies, or ads on the platform which relies on donations in multiple cryptocurrencies to cover its expenses.

What other QR code generators do you know? Tell us in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to third party companies or any of their affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any third party content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Cwaqrgen.


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#USA How a blockchain startup with 1M users is working to break your Google habit

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The antitrust argument that says big tech needs breaking up to stop platforms abusing competition and consumers in a two-faced role as seller and (manipulative) marketplace may only just be getting going on a mainstream political stage — but startups have been at the coal face of the fight against crushing platform power for years.

Presearch, a 2017-founded, pro-privacy blockchain-based startup that’s using cryptocurrency tokens as an incentive to decentralize search — and thereby (it hopes) loosen Google’s grip on what Internet users find and experience — was born out of the frustration, almost a decade before, of trying to build a local listing business only to have its efforts downranked by Google.

That business, Silicon Valley-based ShopCity.com, was founded in 2008 and offers local business search on Google’s home turf — operating sites like ShopPaloAlto.com and ShopMountainView.com — intended to promote local businesses by making them easier to find online.

But back in 2011 ShopCity complained publicly that Google’s search ranking systems were judging its content ‘low quality’ and relegating its listings pages to the unread deeps of search results. Listings which, nonetheless, had backing and buy in from city governments, business associations and local newspapers.

ShopCity went on to complain to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), arguing Google was unfairly favoring its own local search products.

Going public with its complaint brought it into contact with sceptical segments of the tech press more accustomed to cheerleading Google’s rise than questioning the agency of its algorithms.

“We have developed a very comprehensive and holistic platform for community commerce, and that is why companies like The Buffalo News, owned by Berkshire Hathaway, have partnered up with us and paid substantial licensing fees to use our system,” wrote ShopCity co-founder Colin Pape, responding to a dismissive Gigaom article in November 2011 by trying to engage the author in comments below the fold.

“The fact that Google recently began copying our multi-domain model… and our in-community approach, is a good indication that we are onto something and not just a ‘two-bit upstart’,” Pape went on. “Google has stated that the local space is of great importance to them… so they definitely have a motive to hinder others from becoming leaders, and if all it takes to stop a competitor from developing is a quick tweak to a domain profile, then why not?”

While the FTC went on to clear Google of anti-competitive behavior in the ShopCity case, Europe’s antitrust authorities have taken a very different view about Mountain View’s algorithmic influence: The EU fined Google $2.73BN in 2017 after a lengthy investigations into its search comparison service which found, in a scenario similar to ShopCity’s contention, Google had demoted rival product search services and promoted its own competing comparison search product.

That decision was the first of a trio of multibillion EU fines for Google: A record-breaking $5BN fine for Android antitrust violations fast-followed in 2018. Earlier this year Google was stung a further $1.7BN for anti-competitive behavior related to its search ad brokering business.

“Google has given its own comparison shopping service an illegal advantage by abusing its dominance in general Internet search,” competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said briefing press on the 2017 antitrust decision. “It has harmed competition and consumers.”

Of course fines alone — even those that exceed a billion dollars — won’t change anything where tech giants are concerned. But each EU antitrust decision requires Google to change its regional business practices to end the anti-competitive conduct too.

Commission authorities continue monitoring Google’s compliance in all three cases, leaving the door open for further interventions if its remedies are deemed inadequate (as rivals continue to complain). So the search giant remains on close watch in Europe, where its monopoly in search puts special conditions on it not to break EU competition rules in any other markets it operates in or enters.

There are wider signs, too, that increasing antitrust scrutiny of big tech — including the idea of breaking platforms up that’s suddenly inflated into a mainstream political talking point in the U.S. — is lifting a little of the crushing weight off of Google competitors.

One example: Google quietly added privacy-focused search rival DuckDuckGo to the list of default search engines offered in its Chrome browser in around 60 markets earlier this year.

DDG is a veteran pro-privacy search engine Google rival that’s been growing usage steadily for years. Not that you’d have guessed that from looking at Chrome’s selective lists prior to the aforementioned silent update: From zero markets to ~60 overnight does look rather 🤨.

Rising antitrust risk could help unlatch more previously battened down platform hatches in a way that’s helpful to even smaller Google rivals. Search startups like Presearch . (On the size front, it’s just passed a million registered users — and says monthly active users for its beta are ~250k. Early adopters skew power user + crypto geek.)

Google’s dominance in search remains a given for now but a fresh wind is rattling tech giants thanks to a shift in tone around technology and antitrust, fuelled by societal concern about wider platform power and impacts, that’s aligned with fresh academic thinking.

And now growing, cross-spectrum political appetite to regulate the Internet. Or, to put it another way, the tech backlash smells like a vote winner.

That may seem counterintuitive when platforms have built massive consumer businesses by heavily marketing ‘free’ consumer-friendly services. But their shiny freebies have sprouted a hydra of ugly heads in recent years — whether it’s Facebook-fuelled, democracy-denting disinformation; YouTube-accelerated hate speech and extremism; or Twitter’s penchant for creating safe spaces for nazis to make friends and influence people.

Add to that: Omnipresent creepy ads that stalk people around the Internet. And a fast-flowing river of data breach scandals that have kept a steady spotlight on how the industry systematically plays fast and loose with people’s data.

European privacy regulations have further helped decloak adtech via an updated privacy legal framework that highlights how  very many faceless companies are lurking in the background of the Internet, making money by selling intelligence they’ve gleaned by spying on what web users are browsing.

And that’s just the consumer side. For small businesses and startups trying to compete with platform goliaths engineered and optimized to throw their bulk around, deploying massive networks and resources to tractor-beam and data mine anything — from product development; to usage and app trends; to their next startup acquisition — the feeling can be one of complete impotence. And, well, burning injustice.

“That was actually the real genesis moment behind [Presearch] — the realization of just how big Google is,” Pape tells TechCrunch, recounting the history of the ShopCity FTC complaint. “In 2011 we woke up one day and found out that 80-90% of our Google traffic had disappeared and all of these sites, some of which had been online for more than a decade and were being run in partnership with city governments and chambers of commerce, they were all basically demoted onto page eight of Google.

“Even if you typed them by name… Google had effectively, in their own backyard, shut down this local initiative.”

“We ended up participating in this [FTC] investigation and ultimately it cleared Google but we’ve been really aware of the market power that they have — and certainly what could be perceived as monopolistic practices,” he adds. “It’s a huge challenge. Anybody trying to do any sort of publishing or anything really on the web, Google is the gatekeeper.”

Now, with Presearch, Pape and co are hoping to go after Google in its techie backyard — of search.

Search, decentralized

Breaking the “Google habit” and opening up web users to a richer and more diverse field of search alternatives is the name of the game.

Presearch’s vision is a community-owned, choice-rich online playing field in the place where the Google search box normally squats; a sort of pluralist, collaborative commons that welcomes multiple search providers and rewards and surfaces community-curated search results to further diversity — encouraging Internet users to discover a democratized multiplicity of search results, not just the things big tech wants them to see.

Or as Pape puts it: “The ultimate vision is a fully decentralized search engine where the users are actually crawling the web as they surf — and where there’s kind of a framework for all of the participants within the ecosystem to be rewarded.”

This means that Presearch, which is developing a community-contributed search engine in addition to the federated search tool platform, is competing with the third party search providers it offers access to.

But from its point of view it’s ‘the more the merrier’; Call it search choices for customizable courses.

“Or as we like to think of it, like a ‘Switzerland of search’,” says Pape, adding: “We do want to make sure it’s all about the user.”

Presearch’s startup advisor roster includes names that will be familiar to the wider blockchain community: Ethereum co-founder and founder of Decentral, Anthony Di Iorio; Rich Skrenta, founder and CEO of startup search engine Blekko (acquired by IBM Watson back in 2015); and industry lawyer, Addison Cameron-Huff.

“When you’re a producer on the web you realize how much control Google does really have over user traffic. Yet there are thousands of different search resources that are out there that are subsisting underneath of Google,” continues Pape. “So we’re really trying to give them more of a platform that a lot of these different providers — including DuckDuckGo, Qwant — could get behind to basically break that Google dependency and make it easier for them to have a direct relationship with the their audience.”

Of course they’re nowhere near challenging Google’s grip yet.

And like so many startups Presearch may never make good on the massive disruptive vision. It’s certainly got its work cut out. Being a startup in the Google-dominated search space makes the standard hostile success odds exponentially harsher.

“Presearch is a highly-ambitious project,” the startup admits in its WhitePaper. “Google is one of the best companies in the world, and #1 on the Internet. Improving on their results, experience, and integrations will be no small feat — many even say it’s impossible. However, we believe that collectively the community can creatively and elegantly fulfill its own search needs from the ground up and create an amazing and open search engine that is aligned with the interests of humanity, not just one company.”

For now the beta product is, by Pape’s ready admission, more of a “search utility” — offering a familiar search box where users can type their queries but atop a row of icons that allow them to quickly switch between different search engines or services.

As well as offering Google search (the default search engine for now), DuckDuckGo is in the list, as is French search engine Qwant. Social platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn are also there to cater to people-focused queries. As is stuff like Wikipedia for community-edited authority. In all Pape says the beta offers access to around 80 search services.

The basic idea for now is to let users select the most appropriate search tool for whatever bit of info they’re trying to locate. Aka that “level playing field for a whole bunch of different search resources” idea.

This does look like a power tool with niche appeal — Pape says about a quarter of active users are actively switching between different engines; so ~75% are not — but which is being juiced, and here comes the crypto, by rewarding users for searching via the federated search field with a token called PRE.

Pape says users are provided with a quarter token per presearch performed — up to a cap of eight tokens per day. The current market value of the PRE token is around $0.05. (So the hardest working Presearchers could presumably call themselves ’40cents’.)

While there are ways for users to extract PRE from the platform if they wish, converting it to another cryptocurrency via community built exchanges, Pape says the intent is to create more of “a closed loop ecosystem”. Hence he says they’re busy building a portal for users to be able to sell PRE tokens to advertisers.

“We will be promoting this closed loop ecosystem but it is an open standardized currency,” he notes. “It is tradable on various exchanges that community members have set up so there is the ability for people to convert the Presearch token to bitcoin which can then be converted to any local currency.”

“We see as well as opportunity to really build out an ecosystem of places for people to spend the token as well,” he adds. “So that they can exchange it directly for either digital goods or material goods through an online platform. So that’s also in the works.”

As things stand Pape says most early adopters are ‘hodlers’. Which is to say they’re holding onto their PRE — speculating on as yet unknown token economics. (As it so often goes in the blockchain space — until, well, it suddenly doesn’t.)

“There is, as throughout the entire cryptocurrency space, an element of speculation,” he agrees. “People do tend to let their imaginations run wild so there’s kind of this interesting confluence of that core base utility — where you basically have a token that is backed by advertising, something that you can really convert it to. And then there is this potential concept of the value of the network, and of having essentially some time of stake in the value of that network.

“So there’s going to be this interesting period over the next couple of years as the token economics change as we go from this nascent startup mode into more of a full on operating mode. Where the value will likely change.”

For advertisers the PRE token buys targeted ad impressions placed in front of Presearch users by being linked to keywords used by searchers (or “targeted, non-intrusive, keyword sponsorships” as the website explainer puts it).

This is the virtuous, privacy-respecting circle Presearch is hoping to create.

Pape makes a point of emphasizing there is “no tracking” of users’ searches. Which means there’s no profiling of Preseachers by Presearch itself — ads are being targeted contextually, per the current keyword search.

But of course if you’re clicking through to a third party like Google or Facebook that’s a whole other matter; and the standard tracking caveats apply.

Presearch’s claim not to be storing or otherwise tracking users’ searches has to be taken on trust for now. However it intends to fully open source the platform to ensure truly accountable transparency in the near future. (Pape says they’re hoping they’ll be able to do so in a year.)

In the meantime he notes that the founders make themselves available to users via a messaging group on Telegram — contrasting that accessibility with the perfect unreachability of Google’s founders to the average (or really almost any) Google user.

In the modern age of messaging apps, and with their ecosystem’s community-building imperatives, these founders are most certainly not operating in a vacuum.

Currently one PRE token buys an advertiser four ad impressions on the platform — which is one lever Presearch will be able to pull on to influence the value of the token as the ecosystem develops.

“Ultimately [impressions per token] could go to ten, a hundred,” suggests Pape. “That’s obviously going to change the token — and we’ll basically do that as we see the market forces at work and how many people are actually willing to sell their tokens.

“We’ve currently got a pretty strong demand side equation right now. It’s like three to one demand to supply. A lot of the people that are earning tokens are not choosing to redeem them; they’re choosing to keep them in a wallet and hold onto them for the future. So it’s an interesting experiment in tokenomics.”

“It’s super volatile, there’s so much sentiment that’s involved, that’s really the core driver of the value,” he adds. “There’s no real fundamentals yet. Nobody has established any correlation between anything.”

Presearch began life as an internal search tool built for use at the founders’ other company to reduce time tracking down information online. And then the crypto boom caught their eye — and they saw an possible incentive structure to encourage Google users to switch.

“We didn’t really see a go to market strategy with it — search is a very challenging industry. But then when we really started looking at the cryptocurrency opportunity and the ability to potentially denominate an advertising platform in a token that could be utilized to incentivize people to switch we started thinking that it was viable; we put it out to the community, we got really good feedback on the need and on the messaging.”

A token sale followed, between July and November 2017, to raise funds for developing the platform — the obvious route for Presearch to grow a blockchain-based, community-sustaining, closed-loop ecosystem.

“One of the keys was really the ownership structure and making sure that all the participants within the ecosystem are aligned under one unit of account — which is the token. Vs having conflicting interests where there’s an equity incentive as well that may run counter to that token,” notes Pape.

The token sale raised an initial $7M but lucky timing meant Presearch was riding the cryptocurrency rollercoaster during an upward wave which meant funds appreciated to around $21M by the end of the sale period.

The first version of the platform was also launched in November of 2017, with the token itself launching at the end of the month.

Since then Pape says several hundred advertisers have participated in testing phases of the platform. A new version of the platform is pending for launch “shortly” — with a different ad unit which will arrive with a dozen “curated sponsors” on board. “There’s more brand exposure so we really want to be selective in the early days and making sure that we’re only partnering with aligned projects,” he adds.

Almost a year and a half on from the original platform launch Presearch has just made good on the number one community ask: Browser extensions to make the platform easier to use for search.

User surveys showed the biggest reason people dropped out was ease of use, according to Pape.

The new extension is available for Chrome, Brave and Firefox browsers, and works to shave off usability friction. Previously beta users had to set Presearch as their homepage or remember to type its address into the URL bar before searching.

“There’s a really good alignment of the core community but ultimately it does come down to changing user habit and behavior and that is always challenging,” he adds. “This new browser extension enables them to use the browser URL field or the search field and basically access Presearch through the UI that they’re used to and that they’ve been demanding.

Around a quarter of sign-ups stick around and become active users, according to Pape — who dubs that “already really high”. The team is expecting the new browser extensions to fuel “significant” further growth.

“We are getting ready to push it out to the users through email — [and anticipate] that we’re going to see a significant increase in the percentage of users utilizing it. And if that assumption holds through and everything really holds out we’re going to do a much more active push to grow the user base.”

They also launched an iOS Presearch app last year which taps into the voice search trend. Users can speak to search specific services with a library of sites that can be added to the app to enable deep searching of web resources, as well as apps running locally on the device. (So, for example, you could tap and tell it to ‘presearch Google Maps for London’ or ‘Spotify for Taylor Swift’.)

Competition concerns attached to the convenience of voice search — which risks further flattening consumer choice and concentrating already highly concentrated market power given its focus on filtering options to return just one search result — is an area of interest for antitrust regulators.

Europe’s antitrust chief Vestager said in an interview earlier this year that she was trying to figure out “how to have competition when you have voice search”. So perhaps Presearch’s federated platform approach offers a glimpse of a possible solution.

Global community vs Google

Pape sums up the overall competitive positioning that Presearch is shooting for as “Google for usage, DuckDuckGo for positioning”.

“We have been focused on the cryptocurrency community but there’s a really big opportunity to help all these other content providers, internet service providers,” he argues. “There’s all this traffic that is happening and it’s currently defaulting over to Google with really no compensation to the publishers — or to the tech provider. And so we’re going to be going after those opportunities pretty aggressively to get people to basically replace Google as the default that they use if they’re linking in an article to some more information or if they are an ISP and they have an error page that shows up if somebody types in a URL wrong or types in a strange query or something. Rather than have it go to Google, have it go to Presearch.”

Trying to make crypto more accessible is another focus. So there’s a built-in wallet to store PRE tokens — meaning users don’t have to have their own wallet set up to start earning crypto. (Though of course they can move PRE into a different wallet if/when they want.)

“As far as geographies go it’s a global audience but there’s a pretty heavy contingent of users in Central and South America… Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela,” he adds, discussing where early interest has been coming from. “There’s a lot of crypto adoption that’s happening down there due to this [combination] where they’re super tech savvy, they’ve got really great infrastructure, but they are still in a developing nation. So any of these types of crypto opportunities are very significant to them.”

While Google remains the staple default search option Presearch does offer its own search engine — leaning on third party APIs for search results.

Pape says the plan is to switch from Google to this engine as the default down the line. Albeit they can’t justify the switch yet.

“We want to provide users with the best search results to start,” he concedes, before adding: “Up until just recently Google’s results were certainly superior; now we think we’ve got something that is actually quite competitive.”

He couches the Presearch engine as “very similar to DuckDuckGo” but with a couple of “unique features” — including an infinite scroll view, rather than having search results paginated. (“As you’re scrolling it will automatically refresh the results.”)

“But the biggest thing really is that we have these open source community packages so anybody can submit to us a package that would get triggered by certain keywords and basically show up with results at the top of the search.”

An example of one of these community packages can be seen by conducting a Presearch for “bitcoin” — which returns the below block of curated info related to the cryptocurrency above the rest of the search results:

Another example is currency conversions. When a currency conversion is typed into Presearch as a search query in the correct format (using relevant acronyms like USD and CAD) the query will surface a currency converter built by community members.

“It’s basically enabling anybody who knows HTML or Javascript to participate within the search ecosystem and add value to Presearch,” adds Pape.

The ultimate goal with the Presearch engine is to offer fully community-powered search where users not only create content packages and build out wider utility that can be served for particular keywords/searches but also curate these packages too.

The aim is also to have the community manage the entire process — such as by voting on what package should be the default where there are conflicting packages; and/or voting to approve package updates — much like Wikipedia editors work together on editing the online encyclopedia’s entries.

Pape notes that users would still be able to customize their own search results, such as by browsing the full suite of approved packages and selecting those that best meet their needs.

“The whole concept of the search engine is really more about user choice and giving them the ability to actively personalize their search results, and choose which contributors within the ecosystem they want to support,” he adds.

Of course Presearch is a very long way off that grand vision of wholly-community-powered search. So for now community packages are being curated by its core dev team.

Nor is it the first startup to dream big of community-powered and owned search. Not by a long, long chalk. It’s an idea that’s been kicked around the block many times before, even as Google’s dominating grip on search has cemented itself into place.

The level of crowdsourced effort required to generate differentiating value in the Google-dominated search space has proved a stumbling block for similarly minded startups wanting to compete head to head with Mountain View. And, clearly, Presearch will need a much larger user base if it’s to build and sustain enough community contributions to make its engine a compellingly useful product vs the usual search giant suspects.

But, as with Wikipedia, the idea is to keep building utility and momentum in growing increments. With — in its case — crypto rewards, backed by $21M in initial token sales, as the carrot to encourage community participation and contribution. So the founder logic sums to: ‘If we build it and pay people they’ll come’.

It’s worth noting that despite the community-focused mission Presearch’s current corporate structure is a Canadian corporation.

It does have a plan to transition to a foundation in future — with Pape envisaging distributing ~90%+ of the revenue that flows through the ecosystem to the various constituents and participants (searchers; node operators; curators; subject matter experts contributing to information indexes etc, etc), and retaining around 10% to fund operating the platform entity itself.

This is a structure familiar to many blockchain projects. Though Presearch is perhaps a bit unusual by being initially incorporated as a business.

“A lot of the crypto projects have done this foundation route [right off the bat] but really it’s more about taxes and it’s more about jurisdictional arbitrage and trying to minimize the potential regulatory risk,” Pape suggests. “For us, because of the way that we launched it, and our legal advisor [Cameron-Huff] — the founding lawyer for Ethereum — he gave us some really good guidance right out of the gate. And we’ve treated it as a business.

“We think we’ve got a really strong legal position and so we really didn’t need to do the offshore stuff at first. We figured we would get the usage and build up the core token economics. And then switch to an actual truly community-governed foundation, rather than a foundation in name which is governed by all the insiders — which is really what most of the crypto projects currently have done.”

For now Pape remains the sole shareholder of Presearch. Transitioning that sole ownership into the future foundation structure is likely a year out by his reckoning. 

“One of the key concepts behind the project is ultimately providing an open source, transparent resource that is treated like more of a utility, that the community can provide input on and manage,” he adds. “So we’re looking at all the different government options.

“There’s a lot of technology being developed within the blockchain space right now. And some best practices that are starting to emerge. So we figured that we would give it a little while for that technology and those practices to mature and then we would be able to do that transition.”

from Startups – TechCrunch https://tcrn.ch/2IPhVZ8

#Blockchain An In-Depth Look at Ethereum’s Maker and Dai Stablecoin

An In Depth Look at Ethereum's Maker and the Stablecoin Dai

Since tether (USDT) bolstered the idea of a working stablecoin over the last few years, there’s been a variety of different types of stable cryptocurrencies that are usually pegged to the U.S. dollar. However, there’s one particular stablecoin that’s been a hot topic of discussion lately called dai, a coin that’s backed by ethereum locked into a smart contract.

Also read: Payglobal Provides Cryptocurrency to Fiat Transfers With Existing Bank Cards

Maker and Dai

The following is an overview of how dais are created within a network called the Maker DAO and why some cryptocurrency enthusiasts seem to like the concept better than its fiat alternatives. But there’s also a slew of critics who dislike the Maker project for a multitude of reasons that could theoretically hurt a few individuals’ dreams of the perfect stablecoin backed by crypto assets.

The Ethereum network has a popular decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) called Maker, which is now well known for creating a cryptocurrency-backed stablecoin called dai. The Single-Collateral Dai (SCD) system, launched in December 2017, allows anyone to leverage their ETH in order to create a stablecoin that keeps price valuation down to around $1 most of the time. Over the last 14 months of operation, the Maker DAO has become the most popular Ethereum-based system in 2019. At the time of publication, there’s more than 1 percent of the entire ETH supply in circulation locked up into the Maker system as there’s 2.1 million ETH used as collateral.

An In-Depth Look at Ethereum's Maker and Dai Stablecoin

The Maker team consists of CEO Rune Christensen, CTO Andy Milenius, President Steven Becker and roughly 18 other leaders. The community is relatively small but has been growing since the project’s inception. Maker and the stablecoin dai community have a blog, a chat forum, and its own subreddit where individuals discuss the nascent ecosystem. At press time, dai is ahead of the stablecoin GUSD with the 55th largest market capitalization of around $89.3 million.

There are two fundamental differences between Maker’s dai and other stablecoins like USDC, GUSD, and USDT. For one, dai is not backed by fiat reserves held in a bank like a great majority of its stablecoin peers. The other difference is that fiat systems are collateralized by the company’s word and third-party audits while the transparency of dai can be seen onchain at all times. Basically, dai holds stability because ETH is locked into a contract used in a system called a Collateralized Debt Position (CDP). A user wanting to acquire dai sends the ETH to a CDP and can withdraw dai from there.

An In-Depth Look at Ethereum's Maker and Dai Stablecoin

However, the collateralization ratio uses a method called overcollateralization (OC), which helps lower the system’s exposure to risk and keeps the credit (dai) through Maker’s autonomous feedback mechanisms. OC requires more funds than a typical dollar for dollar trade in order to obtain dai. The ratio of ETH collateral needed in order to acquire dai is fixed at 1.5:1 at all times, but users can purchase dai on the open market too.

An In-Depth Look at Ethereum's Maker and Dai Stablecoin
There is currently 2.1 million ETH locked into Maker contracts that produce dai.

Critics of Maker, Overcollateralization, and a Stablecoin Unmediated by the Legal System

Maker and dai have become a popular subject among cryptocurrency supporters largely because some people like the concept of a liquid stablecoin for certain use cases as well as the idea dai is backed by crypto. However, there are some critics of the Maker protocol and the dai stablecoin it produces. Some skeptics believe the project could fall victim to the same scenario that happened to the Ethereum network’s first DAO which saw the loss of $50 million in June 2016. At the time, users exploited the DAO’s code enabling them to take one-third of the DAO’s funds to a subsidiary account. Another critique of Maker DAO explains that the OC scheme and paying the contract back with the equivalent amount of dai is well known. However, what the organization hasn’t explained yet “is that you also need to pay a stability fee in MKR,” Bennett Tomlin said last June.

“Also [dai] cannot always be collateralized in excess, because if there is a black swan event that destroys the value of ethereum that is no longer true,” Tomlin’s research details.

An In-Depth Look at Ethereum's Maker and Dai Stablecoin

Tomlin’s study called a “Deep Look at Maker DAO and Dai and MKR” adds that the Maker’s creators explain in the white paper that in the event of a “black swan” crash the organization will dilute the “pooled ether.” The author’s post explains, “Why someone would trust this, I do not know — The developers are obviously aware of this risk, but it seems to be ignored.” Tomlin’s report also details that the biggest hurdle for the Maker team is the government-specific entities that regulate the U.S. financial activities. “Better watch out for the SEC, the CFTC, and the rest of the alphabet soup,” Tomlin warned.

An In-Depth Look at Ethereum's Maker and Dai Stablecoin

A Multi-Collateral Dai and Other Chain’s Creating a Stablecoin

Despite some concerns, the Maker DAO continues to rake in lots of ethereum in order to create the world’s first working consumer-grade stablecoin based on the collateralized crypto assets. The project’s roadmap calls for a Multi-Collateral Dai system which will at some point be able to collateralize the dai stablecoin with other cryptocurrencies. On Nov. 6, 2018, the development team detailed that the code for Multi-Collateral Dai was published and contracts have been deployed to the system’s testnet.

An In-Depth Look at Ethereum's Maker and Dai Stablecoin

Additionally, there has been talk of other cryptocurrencies following suit with the dai idea. Just recently the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) community discussed the creation of a stablecoin built on the BCH chain. The BCH network has been recently experimenting with token creation but something like dai on BCH would require some different elements. By and large, the Ethereum community seems to appreciate the Maker protocol and dai stablecoin and so far it has brought some more traction toward that ecosystem.

What do you think about the Maker protocol and the dai stablecoin? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. Bitcoin.com does not endorse the Maker DAO or dai stablecoin. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the mentioned companies, creators, associates, or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com and the author are not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Maker DAO, Dai, Makerscan.io, and Pixabay.


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#Blockchain Venezuela Starts Regulating Cryptocurrency Remittances

Venezuela Starts Regulating Cryptocurrency Remittances

The Venezuelan government has begun regulating cryptocurrency remittances. The regulator has set a monthly limit and will be collecting commissions of up to 15 percent of the transaction amount. Additionally, new details of its comprehensive registry of crypto service providers have been announced.

Also read: Indian Supreme Court Moves Crypto Hearing, Community Calls for Positive Regulations

Regulating Crypto Remittances

The National Superintendency of Crypto Assets and Related Activities (Sunacrip), the regulator of all crypto activities in Venezuela, announced on Friday that the new regulation for remittances using cryptocurrencies has entered into force. The decree enacting this regulation was published in the country’s Official Gazette No. 41.581.

Venezuela Starts Regulating Cryptocurrency Remittances

The decree establishes “the requirements and procedures for the sending and receiving of remittances in crypto assets to natural persons in the territory of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela,” Sunacrip explained.

According to the decree:

The sender of the remittances referred to in this ruling is obliged to pay a financial commission in favor of Sunacrip up to a maximum amount of 15% calculated on the total of the remittance.

The minimum commission Sunacrip charges is “equivalent to 0.25 euros [~$0.28] per transaction,” the gazette reads.

According to the text of the regulation, Sunacrip now has the power to establish the remittance limits, set values of cryptocurrencies in sovereign bolivars, specify tariffs, and request data from the issuers and receivers involved in the transactions, local news outlet Criptonoticias reported.

The monthly limit for sending remittances is equivalent to 10 petros (PTR), Venezuela’s national currency that the government claims to be a cryptocurrency backed by oil, gold, diamond and other natural resources. “This cap translates into US $600 per month, according to the quote set for the PTR. Any amount that exceeds this limit will require the Sunacrip endorsement, which will authorize up to a maximum of 50 PTR ($3,000),” the publication elaborated.

Venezuela Starts Regulating Cryptocurrency Remittances

Following Sunacrip’s announcement, some people took to Twitter to voice their opinions about the new rules. One user commented that these rules are “the most absurd thing I’ve seen.” Another user tweeted, “An absurd regulatory framework. Instead of promoting the adoption of crypto assets, [they] are trying to centralize something that its genesis is the opposite.”

Crypto Service Registry

Following the initial enforcement of crypto regulation in Venezuela on Jan. 31 with the publication of Official Gazette Number 41.575, the government has proceeded to enact rules specific to the cryptocurrency service registry.

The Superintendent of Sunacrip, Ramirez Joselit, announced on Feb. 5 that the regulation for the “Integral Registry of Services in Crypto Assets [Risec]” has entered into force with its publication in Official Gazette Number 41.578.

Venezuela Starts Regulating Cryptocurrency Remittances

The Ministry of Popular Power for Communication and Information explained that “Natural, legal, public and private persons, communal councils and other organizations of the People’s Power that intend to carry out activities related to the Integral System of Crypto Assets may be registered.”

According to the decree, Sunacrip is in charge of Risec “which will systematize the information related to the identity and other recurrent data of the user of the Integral System of Crypto Assets and related activities.” The regulator will designate a unit “responsible for the control, monitoring and verification of updating of the data contained in the Risec.”

What do you think of Venezuela regulating crypto remittances and keeping a registry of crypto service providers? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the Venezuelan government.


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#Blockchain BCH Avalanche Transactions Show Finality Speeds 10x Faster Than Ethereum

BCH Avalanche Transactions Show Finality Speeds 10x Faster Than Ethereum

Over the last few weeks, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) developers and community members have been discussing a pre-consensus method called Avalanche. Now BCH proponents have begun to notice the protocol has been applied to the Bchd full node implementation and the proof of concept officially running on the BCH mainnet.

Also read: Mt. Gox Creditors Neither Need nor Deserve This Kind of ‘Hero’

The Benefits of Avalanche and PoW Running in Parallel

The Avalanche proof-of-concept is a consensus algorithm that adds Byzantine fault tolerant proofs to a blockchain network so nodes can differentiate between two conflicting transactions. The protocol communicates with nodes in real time in order to bring consensus in a more efficient manner. This is because Avalanche queries the network of nodes and asks them to come to pre-consensus on which of the two conflicting transactions are preferred.

BCH Avalanche Transactions Show Finality Speeds 10x Faster Than Ethereum

People are often confused with Avalanche being applied to BCH because it’s also being used in a proof-of-stake (PoS) project designed by Cornell Professor Emin Gün Sirer. On the BCH chain, Avalanche is only being used for pre-consensus and runs parallel with the original proof-of-work consensus mechanism. A number of BCH developers and proponents believe Avalanche will make the BCH network far more robust.

Avalanche discussions have increased over the last week since the protocol is now running on the main network. “Ok, the Avalanche proof of concept is officially running on mainnet,” explained Bchd developer Chris Pacia on Feb. 7. The programmer also left a link to the protocol’s Github repository which gives developers a gist of the Avalanche pre-consensus specification implemented in the Bchd branch.

The Bchd version of Avalanche Github repository states:

[The following specification] is not intended to be a final spec and is likely not compatible with the implementation being developed by Bitcoin ABC — The primary purpose is to give other developers something tangible to look at, think about, and discuss.

BCH Avalanche Transactions Show Finality Speeds 10x Faster Than Ethereum

Irreversible Transactions in Seconds

In addition to the experimentation on the main BCH chain, Bchd developers have published an Avalanche transaction explorer as well. The speed at which BCH transactions are processed shows the transaction’s finality is typically 2-3 seconds or less. Essentially this means the transaction (tx) listed on the Avalanche explorer has reached a point at which it can no longer be reversed by a double spend, even though the tx is unconfirmed by miners.

“If used this way, it would give Bitcoin Cash the equivalent of nearly instantaneous confirmations while improving mempool synchronization and reducing the financial incentive to 51% attack,” the Avalanche blockchain explorer details. “As you can see, at present most transactions become irreversible after just a couple seconds — To take this from proof-of-concept to an actual consensus rule will require lots of testing, experimentation, data collection, code review, and soft fork activation rules.”

BCH Avalanche Transactions Show Finality Speeds 10x Faster Than Ethereum

10x Faster Than ETH and Reorganization Protection

Over the last few days, BCH supporters have also discussed how the transaction finality speeds have been 6-10x faster than the Ethereum network. “Transaction finalized in 1.559723305 seconds — That’s 10x faster than ETH — A serious game changer,” explained BCH developer and Bitbox founder Gabriel Cardona on Twitter. Bitcoin ABC developers have also been discussing Avalanche and the protocol is on the roadmap according to the BCH development statistics page on Coin Dance.

In the past, Bitcoin ABC developer Amaury Sechet has said the protocol can make synchronization far more efficient. The ABC developer discussed the benefits of Avalanche at the Satoshi’s Vision Conference in Italy last October. There are more advantages explained in a post written by the ABC developer Mengerian, who says not only is transaction finality fast, but the Avalanche protocol “provides a good mechanism for post-consensus defense against blockchain reorganization attacks.” It seems that the proof-of-concept Avalanche is making headway within the BCH ecosystem and the results have been positive so far.

What do you think about the Avalanche pre-consensus model? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Avalanche Transaction Explorer, Bchd website, and Github. 


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH, and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

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