#Blockchain Czech Utility Company Introduces Crypto Payments

Czech Utility Company Introduces Crypto Payments

One of the largest energy suppliers in the Czech Republic has recently announced plans to start accepting cryptocurrency from its customers. The bitcoin payment option should be available as early as next month, its management said. The company is about to join a growing number of Czech businesses processing crypto payments by introducing them to the energy sector.  

Also read: Poll: Bitcoin More Popular With Czechs than the Euro

Reaching Out to the Young People

The firm in question, Pražská Plynárenská, is not new to the concept of diversification. It is one of the major suppliers of natural gas in the Czech Republic, serving 420,000 homes and businesses. The company is also an electric and heating utility which installs photovoltaics and gas-operated boilers, its website shows. According to its Bloomberg overview, Pražská Plynárenská is engaged in assembling and maintaining telecommunications equipment, servicing motor vehicles, and many more business endeavors, including IT services. The latest project – bitcoin payments.

Czech Utility Company Introduces Crypto Payments

“In June, we are opening a payment gateway, which will automatically transfer our bitcoin payments into regular currency, so that we don’t have to speculate with cryptocurrency. But if anyone wants to pay in an alternative way, we want to allow them to do that,” said Pavel Janeček, chief executive officer of the Prague-based company. According to Hospodářské Noviny, Pražská Plynárenská will pioneer cryptocurrency payments in the country’s energy sector.

Janeček also said that the introduction of bitcoin (BTC) as a payment option will make his company more attractive for the younger generation. This is obviously a priority as the management has also organized rentals of cars running on eco-friendly CNG especially for Youtube vloggers. “We are trying to reach out to the young customers,” he reiterated, those who buy everything with their mobile phones.

Crypto Payments on the Rise in the Czech Republic

A growing number of Czech businesses are turning to cryptocurrencies as an alternative and modern payment option. Although for some companies this might be merely a marketing move, with few of their customers paying in crypto and the merchants immediately converting the coins to fiat, others are more serious about cryptocurrency.

Last year, the largest online retailer in the country, Alza.cz, started accepting bitcoin (BTC) on its platform, as news.Bitcoin.com reported. According to Jan Sadílek, head of internet marketing at Alza.cz, the number of orders and the crypto turnover have increased significantly over the past months. Customers are paying with cryptocurrency for a variety of products, including the popular hard wallet Trezor offered by the Czech-based Satoshilabs. Since February this year, Alza also accepts litecoin, praised for faster transactions and lower fees.

Other examples include several Subway stores and the Paralelní Polis café in Prague, which is popular among members of the Czech crypto community. According to the local press, it is actually accepting only cryptocurrency for your coffee.

Czech Utility Company Introduces Crypto Payments

On the other hand, several banks have been trying to block crypto-related transactions of Czech businesses. One of them, Mbank, has explained its restrictive policies with an argument often used by traditional financial institutions around the world – money laundering concerns. Others, like Komerční bank, have imposed strict controls on operations associated with cryptocurrency. Raiffeisenbank has alerted its clients that transactions with cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are unsafe.

However, a survey conducted earlier this year indicated that the popularity of digital coins is growing in the Czech Republic now, when the fiat koruna is free-floating again. Czechs are more inclined to store value in cryptocurrency than in euros, according to the February Ipsos poll among 525 people. When asked about their intentions to acquire foreign cash, twice as many respondents said they were interested in buying bitcoin rather than acquiring US dollars.

Do you expect more utility companies to introduce crypto payments in the near future? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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#Blockchain Blockchain Micro-Learning Platform to Help Students Earn as They Learn

A blockchain micro-learning platform is planning to incentivize students by offering them crypto tokens when they complete courses #SPONSORED

from Cointelegraph.com News https://ift.tt/2KV9NTT Blockchain Micro-Learning Platform to Help Students Earn as They Learn

#Blockchain Blockchain Micro-Learning Platform to Help Students Earn as They Learn

A blockchain micro-learning platform is planning to incentivize students by offering them crypto tokens when they complete courses #SPONSORED

from Cointelegraph.com News https://ift.tt/2KV9NTT Blockchain Micro-Learning Platform to Help Students Earn as They Learn

#Blockchain Date Set: Japan’s Internet Giant GMO Will Launch 7nm Bitcoin Miner on June 6

Date Set: Japan's Internet Giant GMO Will Launch 7nm Bitcoin Miner on June 6

Japan’s GMO Internet announced that it will unveil its flagship bitcoin mining machine, called GMO miner B2, equipped with the 7nm chips on June 6. Interested customers can register now for the upcoming information session.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Launching on June 6

The wait for 7nm bitcoin mining products from Japanese internet giant GMO may be nearing to a close, as the company announced Thursday:

GMO Internet Group will launch GMO miner B2, which is our own high-performance computer for mining (mining machine), on Wednesday, June 6, 2018. We will mass-produce the world’s first mining machine equipped with a cutting-edge 7 nm process based semiconductor chip (7nm mining chip; ‘GMO 72b’), which will be shipped at the end of October 2018.

Date Set: Japan's Internet Giant GMO Will Launch 7nm Bitcoin Miner on June 6
Illustration of GMO miner B2 provided by GMO.

The company has been working on research and development of the 7nm mining chip since September last year.

GMO has been using “store-bought mining computers” for its mining operation launched in December, as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported. Now it is ready to start producing its own mining equipment made with this 7nm chip, which GMO will use for its in-house mining operation as well as offer “the others to potential customers who are planning to mine,” the company confirmed.

While GMO has not released images of the real mining hardware, the company has provided some illustrative images of the GMO miner B2 currently in development.

Date Set: Japan's Internet Giant GMO Will Launch 7nm Bitcoin Miner on June 6
Illustration provided by GMO.

Interested Customers Can Register Now

“An information session for potential customers considering the purchase of GMO miner B2 will be held on Wednesday, June 6 in Shibuya, Tokyo, and we will explain the details of GMO miner B2, such as price and performance,” GMO’s announcement reads.

Date Set: Japan's Internet Giant GMO Will Launch 7nm Bitcoin Miner on June 6

There will also be an information session for the company’s cloud mining service on the same day. The sessions will be in Japanese. Registration is open to both interested customers and institutional investors. “Customers who have not registered in advance will be refused admission,” GMO emphasized.

Furthermore, GMO Internet no longer plans to use an initial coin offering (ICO) for the sale of its 7nm mining boards as announced in October last year. A representative of the company told news.Bitcoin.com, “for this mining machine sales and cloud mining, we don’t plan to utilize ICO.”

How powerful do you think GMO’s 7nm miners will be? Do you want to buy one?Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and GMO Internet.


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#Blockchain Police Officers in Ukraine Caught Secretly Mining Crypto at Work for Four Months

Police Officers in Ukraine Caught Secretly Mining Crypto at Work for Four Months

Employees of a regional police department in Ukraine were recently caught mining cryptocurrencies using the department’s resources, according to the court document. They had been mining for four months before they got caught and their mining farm seized.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Police Mining Farm Discovered

Police Officers in Ukraine Caught Secretly Mining Crypto at Work for Four MonthsEmployees of the National Police of Ukraine reportedly set up a cryptocurrency mining farm in their workplace and mined cryptocurrencies for four months before they were caught, local media reported this week. The employees work at the Rivne Oblast regional police headquarters’ Communications Department. This information was revealed in the Rivne City Court document number No. 569/8710/18, Finclub reported.

Ukrainian news agency Glavcom elaborated, “In April of this year, employees of the Department of Homeland Security of the Police Headquarters in Rivne Oblast identified the [crypto mining] equipment at the office of the Communications Department,” adding:

The same day, the investigator of the regional administration removed from his colleagues two wooden frames, which featured eight graphics cards, six power units, two hard drives, a motherboard and a complete system unit.

The Investigation

Police Officers in Ukraine Caught Secretly Mining Crypto at Work for Four Months“A pre-trial investigation in the criminal proceedings under Part 1 of Article 185 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine on the fact of theft of electricity” has already begun, the publication detailed, noting that the court decided not to reveal the cryptocurrencies mined.

The investigation “established that from the beginning of 2018, officials of the Communications Department…abused their official position, acting in contravention of the interests of the service,” the news outlet quoted the court document. The employees unilaterally used the electricity of the region “for their own purposes, for the proper functioning of the equipment for the extraction of cryptocurrencies, which caused significant damage to the interests of the State Enterprise of the Rivne region,” the court document details.

368.media described:

The policemen are charged with the theft of electricity belonging to the management of the National Police in the Rivne region, which they used to extract cryptocurrency, but it is not known how much electricity they used.

In Ukraine, there is currently no regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies despite having multiple proposals. However, Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine, Oleg Churiy, recently revealed that the central bank is working on a bill to regulate them.

What do you think of these police officers mining cryptocurrencies at work? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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#Blockchain US: Shipping Startup Refutes Claims of Securities Laws Violations by State Regulator

Shipping startup ShipChain denies allegations by state regulators that it broke securities laws during its SHIP token sale

from Cointelegraph.com News https://ift.tt/2xaKL1f US: Shipping Startup Refutes Claims of Securities Laws Violations by State Regulator

#Blockchain Tezos Community Petitions to End the Class Action Lawsuits

Tezos Community Petitions to End the Class Action Lawsuits

Tezos was conceived as a governance-based blockchain to rival Ethereum, but it’s become more synonymous with protracted legal battles and internecine conflict. As the latest class action lawsuit drags its way through the courts, the Tezos community has petitioned for an end to all the legal turmoil so that everyone can move on.

Also read: US Justice Department Investigates Price Manipulation in Bitcoin Market

Tezos Community Prepares an Amicus Brief

EOS, Cardano and Tezos: Sleeping Giants Starting to StirTezos community leaders are sick of all the lawsuits, so much so that they’re preparing to go to court themselves – to put an end to all the courtroom battles. The Stop The Class Action Lawsuits Against Tezos petition, which is to be filed in a San Francisco Court, asserts that the class actions filed by various other Tezos investors have no merit and should be dismissed. They write:

We do not feel the plaintiffs have been sufficiently harmed to warrant a class action against the program, which further delays and encumbers it by creating large legal difficulties which becomes self-fulfilling and induced by the very plaintiffs themselves who complain of delay. We denounce the plaintiffs as having done more harm to Tezos than the delays inherent in software and network development.

Don’t Fight, Just BUIDL

In essence, the Tezos community members behind the petition want to draw a line under the sand and move on. Their goal is to show the court that it is highly unlikely that the plaintiffs can form a class. If enough people denounce the class, and there are just six plaintiffs claiming they can form a class, the plaintiff’s case becomes much more difficult. The plaintiffs have claimed that they are speaking on behalf of the entire Tezos community…but it appears that a significant portion of that community demurs.

Tezos Community Petitions to End the Class Action Lawsuits

“Everything else appears to be on track for the project now, just the looming threat of legal action limits the foundation’s ability to speak,” explained Shaun Belcher, a board of directors member with Tezos Commons Foundation. He believes that what is at stake has ramifications, not only for Tezos, but for the future of blockchain projects in general, adding:

“We must understand that the Tezos class action case could set a precedent for all ICOs, past and future. If the community can prevail, not only will it help Tezos but it will immunize other blockchain projects from facing a class action, because failure here against Tezos would discourage law firms in the future.”

Bitcoin Suisse Also Washes Its Hands of Class Actions

Last week, Bitcoin Suisse AF, a BTC brokerage, also filed a motion seeking to dismiss itself from the Tezos class action lawsuit is has been named in, writing:

Bitcoin Suisse submits that it is not properly named as a defendant in the Tezos litigation because of its lack of contacts with both California and the United States sufficient to establish personal jurisdiction and because the alleged, limited currency conversion services it provided, solely in Switzerland, prior to the alleged Tezos ICO, and its alleged post-ICO conduct, cannot establish liability under Sections 5 and 12(a)(1) of the Securities Act.

With a betanet launch of the Tezos blockchain planned for late June, the race is on to clear the air of all impediments that could further delay proceedings. Before that can happen though there’s still code to audit, tokens to list on exchanges and countless other development tasks to tick off. Meanwhile, the class action lawsuit rumbles on while the Tezos community grows ever weary.

Do you think the Tezos community have a chance of dismissing the class action lawsuit? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Tezos.


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#Blockchain South Africa’s Central Bank Calls Crypto ‘Cyber-Tokens’, Not Currency

The central bank of South Africa will classify digital currencies “cyber-tokens,” claiming they don’t fit the definition of money

from Cointelegraph.com News https://ift.tt/2J66Nqk South Africa’s Central Bank Calls Crypto ‘Cyber-Tokens’, Not Currency

#Blockchain Coinjar Launches Cryptocurrency Exchange Supporting AUD Pairings

Coinjar Launches Cryptocurrency Exchange Supporting AUD Pairings

Coinjar has announced the launch of a cryptocurrency exchange that will exclusively offer AUD currency for fiat pairings. The exchange currently offers AUD and BTC pairings for bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Ripple.

Also Read: US Justice Department Investigates Price Manipulation in Bitcoin Market

Coinjar Launches New Australian Cryptocurrency Exchange

Coinjar Launches Cryptocurrency Exchange Supporting AUD PairingsAustralian-founded cryptocurrency company Coinjar has announced that it has launched a cryptocurrency exchange exclusively offering fiat pairings in AUD.

Coinjar exchange currently provides support for BTC, ETH, LTC, and XRP pairings. In addition to AUD pairings, all supported altcoins are available to trade against BTC also.

The company is offering tiered accounts to users, with free accounts being charged a 1% fee for both orders that make and take liquidity from the order books. ‘Trader’ and ‘Premium’ accounts are also available for $500 AUD and $5000 AUD annually respectively – offering significantly discounted trading fees in addition to enhanced support services. ‘Institutional’ accounts are also available to traders who are able to make a volume commitment.

With regards to storage and security, Coinjar claims to store “At least 90% of our customers’ digital currencies […] offline in geographically redundant secure locations,” adding that “Wherever practicable, we also use multi-sig technology to protect digital assets that must be stored online.”

AUD Markets Lacking Major Exchanges

Coinjar Launches Cryptocurrency Exchange Supporting AUD PairingsIn recent weeks, Coinjar was announced as a finalist for Fintech Australia’s ‘Excellence in Digital Currencies/Wallets/Exchanges’ award – an award to be given as part of the not-for-profit organization’s 2018 Finnie awards.

According to Cryptocompare, the AUD bitcoin markets are highly centralized – with approximately 91.5% of trade 24-hour trade occurring on BTCMarkets. The second most active exchange is peer-to-peer trading platform Localbitcoins – with accounts for a further 4.75% of trading volume.

As of this writing, Cryptocompare estimates the AUD markets to the be the 15th largest fiat pairing against BTC by trading volume, with a 24-hour trading volume 288.4 BTC – or 0.05% of global trade.

As per Australia’s regulations, Coinjar is registered with the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre.

Do you think that Coinjar will be able to rival BTCMarkets’ apparent dominance of the AUD/BTC markets? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Coinjar


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